May 9, 2018
Actor Vicky Kaushal, who plays a Pakistani Army officer in
"Raazi", says he felt more responsible while narrating the character on-screen
because the forthcoming film is based on a series of true stories and real life
Based on Harinder Sikka's book "Calling Sehmat", the story of the film "Raazi" revolves around a young Kashmiri girl who gets married to a Pakistani Army officer and becomes a spy to give inside information about the neighbouring country to protect her own.
Vicky told IANS: "Since the film is based on a true life incident, there was a certain amount of responsibility on all of us to get the story right. Whether it is me, Alia Bhatt or anyone who was a part of the film...We were conscious about not to tamper with anything."
His character is named Iqbal.
"The character has many shades -- of a patriot, of a son, a husband and an individual who is dealing with so many complex situations. I think it was a huge responsibility for director Meghna Gulzar as well and she treated the story very sincerely."
Vicky, who did not read the book as a conscious choice to follow the script religiously, said he only went by the director's vision.
"If we look at the original book, the story has a huge number of details, many plots and insights. Meghna tried to make a film out of the story that captured the journey of an innocent daughter becoming a spy to protect her country. There was no reference point of my character, apart from the script that Meghna wrote after a lot of research work.
"So when I was building the character as a part of my preparation, we used to sit together and interact. That was the best way to bring life to the character which was written on paper," added the actor, who feels very non-judgmental about the character that he has played.
"I know I played a Pakistani in the film but it is not a hate story between two countries. The story is much deeper than that. I think the film is treating every individual as individuals who are doing their duties," he said.
Elucudating on this, he said: "When you are standing on the border, to protect your country, given an order from higher authority, you have to fire and that could kill people on the other side of the border. That is a part of duty...nothing personal. For an army officer, nothing is bigger (or more important) than his country.
"As an individual, maybe you do not even know the soldier personally, so there is no hatred. But as a countryman, you focus on the duty and responsibility that has given to you."
Having worked with many directors like Anurag Kashyap, Rajkumar Hirani and Neeraj Ghaywan within a short span in his career, Vicky feels fortunate about having played a variety of characters -- from the young aspirational boy of "Masaan" to the drug addict policeman in "Raman Raghav 2.0" or the urban boy in "Love Per Square Foot".
In hindsight, he said: "There was something very pure and a naive factor in my character in 'Masaan' that everyone loved. That film will remain very close to my heart because even today, after a few films, people connect me remembering ‘Masaan'. On the other hand, it is a different thing with ‘Raman Raghav 2.0' where I explored a territory that nobody would, if not given an opportunity."
"I did not enjoy playing the character in terms of experiencing it as it was very dark. As an individual, I wanted to run away from him... But that was an experience."
After "Raazi", which is releasing on Friday, he has "Sanju" and "Love and Lust" in his kitty.