I remember feeling helpless on 26/11 attacks, says Nana Patekar

It wasn't easy to shoot this film at all, Ram Gopal Varma recalls. There were permission issues and sets to be built, but despite all that,Varma's proud of The Attacks of 26/11. "By the end of it, me and Nana (Patekar) had discussed it so many times, that there was nothing left for me to ask him," says Ramu, and with a laugh, Nana says, "He is my director, I should agree with him."

But ask him why he took on this film, and Nana says, "Mujhe laga ke iss film ke zariye main bahut kuch keh sakta hoon. I am happy I did it. This is not an entertaining film, lekin yeh film aapko zaroor sochne pe majboor karegi. And I like such hard-hitting films." For Ramu, the toughest part was collating all the data.

"As a filmmaker, I was really attracted to this event. It was devastating. But when I went there three days after the event, I went just as an observer. I had no intention of making a film for the simple reason that at that time, I had no knowledge of what the incident was about. Two-and-half-years later, when the investigations were completed and all the information was put out in public domain, I had a chance to interact with the officers who investigated the case. Through them, I managed to get to some eyewitnesses. I went and interviewed them, and through the course of their narratives, I got an idea of how to structure the screenplay of my film."

Did he ask any of the witnesses to act in his film? "Leopold Cafe owner, FarzadJehani. I asked him to play himself for the simple reason that there was something very uniquely different about the way he explained the scene. Also, the film is not an adaptation, and other than adapting it into a cinematic format, I had to capture everything into a two-hour film, so I took some liberties in condensing the content, but I have not altered the facts," Ramu explains.

Nana, who plays Rakesh Maria, the commissioner of police, says he drew from his own memoriesof the event, and also, from the research material at hand. "I was in Goa when the attacks happened and I remember feeling helpless. And I am fortunate that through this film I could say something. I am not into politics or anything and film is my medium to say what I want to. I began to think what Rakesh Maria must have felt like at that point, and I did my scenes."

The Attacks of 26/11, produced by Eros International and Alumbra Entertainment, releases today.
Source - timesofindia


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