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Veteran actor Surendra Rajan comes out of retirement for Who Am I

Helmed by Shireesh Khemariya, the film also stars Shashie Vermaa, Chetan Sharma and Rishika Chandani.

Our Correspondent

Veteran actor Surendra Rajan, who had left the film industry, will be seen in the film Who Am I, which will have its world premiere on 12 May at the 24th UK Asian Film Festival in London. 

The 84-year-old, who appeared in films such as The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002), Munna Bhai MBBS (2003), Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero (2005) and Phas Gaye Re Obama (2010), travelled all the way to Madhya Pradesh at the height of the pandemic to shoot for Who Am I.

Helmed by 22-year-old Shireesh Khemariya, the film is based on the critically acclaimed novel Ko Aham by Ashok Jamnani, who wrote the film's initial draft as well.

Who Am I is set in a small town on the banks of the Narmada. The film marks the feature film debut of Khemariya, who has directed short films such as Katu Satya (2018), Pudina and Khwaabghah.

Talking about what prompted him to take up the role, Surendra Rajan said, "I'm playing a person who is spending his old age on the banks of the Narmada. At this age, it was like enlightenment to play such a character hence I gave it a nod. I had left the film industry and had started living in Himachal but the concept struck a chord so I decided to do the role and gave it my all."

Sharing his experience of working in this film, he added, "I was very much impressed by the title as it's a very quintessential question we ask ourselves. I was in love with the script. I was very sceptical about working at this age but when I saw this young crew showing so much enthusiasm, I felt it was my duty to encourage and support them. When they approached me, I felt really good because it's a very untouched subject."

Produced by Shirish Prakash, Who Am I also stars Shashie Vermaa who is best known for Shorgul (2016) and Panchayat (2020); Sacred Games (Season 2, 2019) and Pagglait (2021) actor Chetan Sharma and newcomer Rishika Chandani.