When India was cheering, applauding, shedding a tear and clapping in awe looking at the batting maestro hit his hundredth ton, Bollywood’s own Ramu (Ram Gopal Varma) kicked off his most ambitious and prestigious venture till date; a film based on the 26/11 attacks made on Mumbai.
“Today is the 1st day of shooting of the most important film of my career `The Attacks of 26/11 `. That’s because it’s on the most important event that ever happened. If not in scale and damage and tragedy just in sheer complexity it beats even 9/11. The attacks of 26/11 will detail every aspect of the carnage beginning with the terrorists taking over Amar Solanki’s trawler `Kuber’. I want 2 thank all the officers who have given me unimaginable inputs and insights into this event which is making this film possible,” tweets RGV.
Rommel Rodrigues, the author of the book “Kasab – The face of 26/11”, is going to assist RGV on the film for authenticity. The director feels Rodrigues would ensure the genuineness to portray the decimation of life and property Mumbai witnessed in 2008. The Satya director is keen on portraying the orchestration of the attacks by Kasab and his men and the 60 hour long operation undertaken by the defense forces of the country to stop the act of violence. According to a unit source, the parts of the story which could not be verified have been dramatized.
Shortly, after the attacks in 2008, the director had visited the Taj Mahal Hotel with the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his son actor Ritiesh Deshmukh. Following the huge public outcry about Varma being so insensitive towards the victims of the attacks, he had denied of any plans of making a documentary cum drama based on the events. Ramu, has however gone ahead with the movie and maintains that this film is intended for the international audience and has a budget of 40 crores.
RGV also decided that the film would have a completely new cast. According to a unit source, the director took over two months and browsed hundreds of new faces before he zeroed down on Sanjeev Jaiswal, who would play the role of the most important character in the movie: Ajmal Amir Kasab. “The most important actor obviously is the guy who’s going to play Kasab the reason being he becoming the face of the 26/11 attacks. I needed someone similar and also a great actor to be able to portray the complexities involved and I found him in a theatre actor called Sanjeev Jaiswal” further tweeted Varma. Ramu got lucky when he found Sanjeev, who not only matches Kasab’s height and has a similar face but also is a terrific actor. “When he walked into the room for auditions, I was dazed. I was further shocked to see the range of his performance during the audition. You wouldn’t expect a guy of that age, to be able to understand and essay such a complex character as Kasab. He has got a very strong command over the language and from the time we zeroed upon him, he learnt to speak Urdu. By the time he came to meet me, he was fully prepared and probably knew more about Kasab than me,” added Ramu.
Hailing from the town of Jamshedpur, Sanjeev Jaiswal who is a small time theatre actor is currently doing a small role in a TV show. The actor who is planning to tie the knot soon added that his family and his fiancée are thrilled on his new venture and the fact that he would be working for such a big banner after years of struggle in the theatre.
The film is planned to be shot at the precise locations where the series of events took place while matching the costumes and names of the slain terrorists in the attacks to maintain the authenticity. Lotus Film Company owner, Parag Sanghavi, who produced the rom-com Partner in 2007 will be in-charge of the production for this film and has ensured that since this movie would be shot in the sea, all the necessary permissions have been taken from the Navy, The Bombay Port Trust, the Customs and the Mumbai Police.
In a twist, the movie does not have any songs but has a background score for effect. The film is also going to be shot in the languages that people actually spoke i.e Urdu, Hindi, English & Marathi. Stay tuned we will bring you more about this project as RGV embarks on his journey of making the The attacks of 26/11.