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Rajpal's new film attacks sensationalism
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Talented actor Rajpal Yadav was shocked when he was offered to play the role of a man accused of raping his daughters in "Undertrial".
"How could I play a man accused of such a heinous and unthinkable crime? But to me, the challenge as an actor is to go beyond my own expectations. I immediately began to think about the character, his motivations and his frustrations," Rajpal told IANS.
Producer Nazim Rizvi, who was in jail for alleged underworld connections, met a man in prison who proved to be the inspiration for his just released film "Undertrial".
Recounting the experience, the film's lead Rajpal Yadav, says: "At least one good thing came of Rizvi saab's stint in Thane jail. He met Asghar Hussain, the man from Lucknow accused of raping three of his daughters. Rizvi saab decided to get first time director Aziz Khan to direct the film."
Critics have appreciated "Undertrial".
"The producer took on the task of intense research. And we came across some startling facts about the man accused of such bestial behaviour."
Rajpal decided to do the role after making phone calls to the accused person's home in Lucknow.
"What made up my mind about the role was some phone calls that I made to the protagonist's home town in Lucknow where people had asked for Hussain to be hanged.
"I inquired in Lucknow as to what happened to the man they wanted executed. No one had a clue! That's when I thought of those heroes and villains who get lost with the passage of time. I knew Hussain wasn't what he was made out to be."
"Undertrial" was shot on actual location in Thane says Rajpal.
"1,500 inmates of the jail participated in the shooting. This is the first time that a film has been shot from its first frame to the last on location in an actual jail. And I'm the first actor from any part of the world to play a man accused of raping his own daughters."
Interestingly, the real rape accused person's name has been changed to Sagar Hussain in the film. But Rajpal hopes to show the film to the real character.
"Yes. Hussain is alive. Hopefully, this film will tell his true story to a world which has no space for justice, only sensationalism."