Article Hindi

We are the Bhojpuri cinema of the world: Vishal Bhardwaj


In a recent interview, director Vishal Bhardwaj spoke about plans to tell a 'global story' with his prequel to the 9/11 saga directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty.

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Shriram Iyengar

Vishal Bhardwaj might not have tasted success with his last war film, Rangoon, but it has not stopped the director from setting his sights on another conflicted subject. In a recent interview to the daily, The Times of India, Bhardwaj spoke of his plans to make a film on the events leading up to Osama Bin Laden's capture.

The film, Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow was based on the capture of Osama Bin Laden, who masterminded the 9-11 attacks on the United States of  America.

In the interview, Bhardwaj suggested that the Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy's book The Exile gave him the idea of making the film. Bhardwaj said, "About a year back, they came to meet me and we had another chat about The Siege. During that chat, I asked them about what they were working on next. They told me about the next book they were working on — The Exile — and I was sold on it in one line, when they said it's 'the prequel to Zero Dark Thirty.' That got me hooked."

About the need to make a film on this very subject, the director said in the interview, "Well, clearly, for the six years since the Abbottabad raid, there's much that we haven't known, too. That may change when this story makes it to the big screen. The prequel to Zero Dark Thirty being made out of India - now, who would have thought of that!"

While Bhardwaj's last film, Rangoon, failed to make an impact, it has not discouraged him from taking up another project on a conflict. He added, "reading it (the book) only convinced me further that I wanted a film like this, a global film, to come out of India, on a global story like this. We have been so trained to only cater to our market, and we have been so conditioned, that to break out of that is a very difficult task. All that we talk about is the opening of a film."

The film will be co-produced by Bhardwaj and Junglee Pictures, which also produced Meghna Gulzar's Talvar (2015) that was written by Vishal Bhardwaj. Speaking about the need to make a film on a 'global scale', the director said, "And that is why we are the Bhojpuri cinema of the world! I wanted to go beyond that. So I took this to Junglee Pictures. And we agreed that there must be some liberation from the stereotype. It's time for India to tell a global story, a story that everyone needs to know."

The director reiterated the film will focus on the events inside the Abbotabad complex that housed Osama Bin Laden before his capture. Bhardwaj added that the story will be told from the perspective of a man 'chosen to guard and host the most important guest of Al-Qaeda in his house — Osama Bin Laden'.