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Last Updated 16.10.2019 | 10:08 AM IST



Jagmohan Mundra’s film on terrorism in trouble

Jagmohan Mundra whose career is substantially based on biopics of famous people stands accused of exploiting the tragic killing of the innocent Brazilian bystander Jean Charles de Menezes in the July 2007 tube station bombing in London. When last week Mundra’s Shoot On Sight opened in London he was accused of exploiting and distorting the facts behind the gruesome tragedy that happened a year ago. Mundra is unfazed and says the dead guy’s family is being incited into causing trouble. “I’m used to my biopics getting into trouble. I’m sure you remember the problems that were caused by Bhanwari Devi when I made a film on her gruesome gang rape (Bawandar). More recently, after Provoked about domestic violence, I went through a similar ordeal. And now my Sonia Gandhi epic has been put on hold on request from the Congress until the general elections. It can never be done with the Congress’ active participation. But I hope we can eventually make the film without them breathing down our backs with litigations.” And that’s precisely how Mundra feels at the moment. “The accusation that I’ve exploited the real-life tragedy in Shoot On Sight is totally unfounded. The relatives and family of de Menezes are being provoked into making these statements. None of these protestors have actually seen the film. It reminds me of what happened with Salman Rushdie after he wrote The Satanic Verses. Not too many had actually read the novel when a fatwa was passed against him. So I don’t know what they are protesting about. Also the flak from the British press includes statements on how Shoot On Sight is like a TV drama. I don’t take that as an insult. I’ve great respect for the TV medium.” Mundra admits Shoot On Sight had a lower opening in London than his earlier biopic Provoked. “That’s because Provoked featured Aishwarya Rai, a known international name,” says Mundra implying that Naseruddin Shah doesn’t have the same international appeal. “Naseer has brought his own amazing insights into the role. And if Amitabh Bachchan had played the part as I had planned, he’d have imparted his own gravitas”, adds Mundra. About Naseer refusing to dub the Hindi version of Shoot On Sight Mundra says, “I respect his decision. But I also have to respect my producer’s decision. They need to earn back their money. And what is wrong with Brits talking in Hindi? Didn’t Robbie Coltrane argue Aishwarya’s case in Hindi in Provoked? What about all the Japanese characters in the World War 2 epic Tora Tora Tora speaking in English? And in Devdas we heard the characters talking in Hindi when they were all speaking in Bengali in the novel. Cinema is all about suspension of disbelief. It’s also at the end of the day a commercial venture. My Indian producers need to make back their money when they release the film on September 19. And I’d rather have British characters making themselves comprehensible to audiences in Rajasthan and Bihar than be linguistically correct.” Sighing Mundra ends, “Let’s hope my distributor Pyramid does a better job of my Shoot On Sight than they did with their last film Mukhbiir.”

More Pages: Shoot on Sight Box Office Collection , Shoot on Sight Movie Review

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