Santoshi’s daughter Tanisha is set to make her acting debut in Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh, which also stars newcomer Anuj Saini.
By: Mohnish Singh
Filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi on Wednesday said he isn’t worried about the box office clash between his upcoming feature “Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh” and Shah Rukh Khan-led “Pathaan” as both films are different from each other.
“Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh”, is a period film releasing on January 26, while “Pathaan”, which marks Shah Rukh’s return as a leading man after 2018’s “Zero”, will arrive in cinemas a day before.
At the trailer launch event of his film, “Gandhi Godse Ek Yudh”, Santoshi said his movie isn’t a song-dance entertainer and is hoping audiences will come to watch the film. He also wished luck to Shah Rukh for “Pathaan”. “Ours is not a song and dance film, it is a very different film. I don’t worry about such things (box office clash). Both films are very different in nature and each in its proper place. I am not worrying about who is in front of us, I’m only focusing on my film,” Santoshi told reporters here.
Praising Shah Rukh khan, the director said the superstar is one of the most hardworking and respected actors of the industry.
“I have known him for years, he is a very good person. He puts a lot of effort in his films, and I send him good wishes for his film. Yash Raj Films is a very reputed banner and they are coming with a very ambitious film. They have a separate fan following and they will watch their film,” Santoshi added.
“Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh” depicts the war of two extremely opposite ideologies between Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse.
Known for hard-hitting dramas like “Ghayal” and “Damini”, Santoshi revealed that he was initially worried about getting clearance from the censor board. However, to his surprise, the certification board members were elated after watching his movie.
“We were waiting (at the censor board office) for half-and-hour and were worried what all might get deleted and what all objection they might raise.
When we were called inside, they all seemed happy and suggested making a change in the surname of one character and we agreed to make the changes,” Santoshi said, adding, the revision committee too gave its nod to the film.
He further added that the CBFC members suggested the film should be shown in colleges and schools.
“This is the compliment I got from censor board,” he said.
The trailer of “Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh” explores the alternative reality wherein Mahatma Gandhi (Deepak Antani) survived the assassination attempt by Nathuram Godse (Chinmay Mandlekar).
When asked whether he was glorifying Nathuram Godse in the film, Santoshi said there’s no harm in highlighting the voice of a common man.
He said the nation is aware of the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi and no one can take his place, but at the same time, Godse too has the right to express his views.
He also said he doesn’t belong to any (political) party and that “Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh” is not a “propaganda” film and has made the film with honesty.
“There are allegations on Gandhi too about many things, there is an image about Godse too. People should know what has happened and then they can form their own opinion.
“If Godse’s last wish was to let everyone know his views, what’s wrong in that? It is a democracy and everyone has the right to ask questions. Godse is not a supari killer or terrorist, he was one among us, he took that one step. Let people decide after hearing Gandhi and Godse what is right and what is not,” he said.
Santoshi, who returns to direction after nine years, said with “Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh” he has made an attempt to explore a different kind of a movie. His last released movie was “Phata Poster Nikhla Hero” starring Shahid Kapoor.
“It is important to see what I have brought after nine years. I believe I have come up with an important film that had inspired me. I am satisfied and I hope people will like it,” he added.
The director, who has worked with top actors including Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Sunny Deol, said it was a conscious decision to not cast any stars for “Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh”.
He also cleared media reports stating both Rajkummar Rao and Naseeruddin Shah were not considered for the movie.
“Rajkumar Rao and Naseeruddin Shah both are good actors but we didn’t want stars for this film. For instance, I was looking for a Marathi actor and our casting director suggested we cast Chinmay Mandlekar,” Santoshi said, adding, he asked both Mandlekar and Antani to not be cordial with each other on sets to obtain the rivalry between their characters onscreen.
Santoshi’s daughter Tanisha is set to make her acting debut in “Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh”, which also stars newcomer Anuj Saini.
Tanisha got emotional at the event and thanked his filmmaker father for giving her the opportunity to be part of his upcoming directorial venture.
“I am grateful and I hope to make you proud. I need all your blessings and good wishes,” she said.
Santoshi said he was more strict with his daughter on the sets as compared to other actors.
The film is backed by Santoshi Productions LLP and PVR Pictures. Music is by famed composer AR Rahman with sound design by Resul Pookutty.