Talking about humanising the other side and directing a movie without bashing Pakistan, Raazi director Meghna Gulzar said Pakistanis are humans too, adding that “We don’t need to show someone as bad to show ourselves as good… You don’t need slogan cheering for that.”
“The story itself is such a powerful one that we don’t need planks of placard carrying jingoism… You say what to say and you do that simply and honestly. When you are making a film on patriotism and you are not bashing Pakistan, you need brave people to back it,” Meghna said during a press talk.
The director, who was speaking at the success press conference of the film, said, “It’s special because I have been told it’s genre defining… That it’s unlike any stereotype spy film, it’s unlike any Pakistan-bashing stereotype and I am glad about it because if anything, the acceptance of ‘Raazi’ shows that it’s the audience is ready to see anything that’s different and breaking the stereotype.”
In an interview with Indian media, Gulzar said, “For me, today to get messages from senior Army officials, saying, ‘You have presented us so well,’ when normally Hindi films get flak for some discrepancies or the other like the ribbon on the costume, and things like that… I had told my kids (her team) if there’s anything we can’t go wrong on, it’s how we are presenting the army, whether it’s ours or it’s Pakistan’s. And they didn’t let me down.”
“If you go with the basic faith that inherently your people still have their civility, their cultural richness and their tolerance intact, which I do believe very strongly, then you will not be tempted to go into sloganeering or jingoism, and it will reflect in the approach that you will take.”
When asked about the lead character Sehmat played by Alia Bhatt, she said, “With Alia, again it was a completely instinctive decision as soon as I read the story, not even read, when I heard the story. Kashmiri girl, 20, spy, vulnerable, sacrifice… Her face just popped in my head.”
Raazi was released on May 10. The movie is about an Indian spy that marries a Pakistani man during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971.