‘India’s Most Wanted’ Brought Arjun & Me Together: Raj Kumar Gupta



Q: Your trailer of India’s Most Wanted says that’s it’s a film which is inspired by true events. Now, any film which is inspired by true events also runs the risk of becoming controversial because there are people associated with that event who may or may not want the film to be made or would want the film to be made in a certain way. As a filmmaker, how do you ensure yourself against getting into a controversy when you’re making a film which is based on real events?

Raj Kumar Gupta: The idea is to make a film... the inspiration comes from incidents, and one tries to be true to it. You’re not thinking about what could get you into a controversy or what could not get you into a controversy. What you are thinking about is the true nature of the event that you are inspired by, and you try and be as true to the event, as true to the subject as true to the people involved in that telling of the story. And apart from that being in the zone that the film is in, it should have that representation of the reality or the sense of the space that it is in. As you know, we have become so hypersensitive that anything can be said or politicised. But as a filmmaker, as a storyteller you have been inspired by something and then you are trying to tell that story. That is what runs through your mind, nothing more than that.

Q: India’s Most Wanted is being publicised as the hunt for ‘India’s Osama’ and the ‘Ghost Who Bombs’, and according to reports the ‘Ghost Who Bombs’ nickname was given to Yasin Bhatkal of the Indian Mujahideen, who was responsible for several bomb blasts across India and was captured in Nepal. Is your film based on Bhatkal’s arrest?

Raj Kumar Gupta: To this I would just like to say that this has been inspired by true events. People have to come to watch India’s Most Wanted to see what the film is about, what is the time span that one is talking about, what is the relevance or the context of ‘India’s Osama’ in the film, what is the context of a ‘Ghost Who Bombs’ in the film. I would leave it for the film to answer all these questions and not say more on this topic.

Q: Professionally Arjun Kapoor is going through a rough patch, his last film Namaste England was trashed by both critics and at the box-office, while Mubarakan was a mutli-starrer, his solo films be it Half-Girlfriend or Ki & Ka haven’t exactly been big hits. How much does the box-office history of an actor matter to you when you cast for your films?

Raj Kumar Gupta: It’s a very tricky question, we agreed to work together purely on the basis of our love for the script and wanting to work together. When he signed India’s Most Wanted hadn’t even released, but it doesn’t matter because you want to work with actors who are as passionate to work with you, who are as passionate about the script.

So I guess what we came together was not on box-office numbers, we came together on the love for the script and working together. Numbers matter, but these are things you can’t control or can’t keep thinking about. As a filmmaker, you can’t do that, you have to come together and collaborate with someone over a subject which one is equally passionate about. Indias Most Wanted is a film that is very gritty, shot in real locations, shot under circumstances which are very difficult to shoot in, so I needed a passionate actor who could do all the things that I wanted and Arjun was up to it, so I think this is what brought us together.



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