January 23, 2010 4:17:24 PM IST Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network
Film maker Anil Sharma is flustered that even though close to a decade has passed by ever since he made an all time blockbuster in the form of GADAR - EK PREM KATHA (2001), the tag of 'jingoistic' director continues to be attached to him.
He agrees though that his interim films like THE HERO (2003) and AB TUMHARE HAWALE WATAN SAATHIYO (2004) have come close to being patriotic saga. "However, terming them as jingoistic is taking things a little too far", fumes Anil Sharma whose last directorial outing was APNE (2007), a film which had boxing as its central theme.
"I am perplexed that GADAR, in spite of being one of the biggest blockbusters in the history of Indian cinema, has seen continued panning by media for being jingoistic. I am sure audiences worldwide didn't feel the same because otherwise it wouldn't have been considered as one of the 3-4 major films that have come out from India in last 50 odd years", announces Sharma who now has put together yet another period drama in the form of VEER.
GADAR was singled out by quite a few due to apparent negative sentiments that it allegedly invoked against Muslims, primarily from Pakistan. In fact this was also raised as one of the major most reasons for the film's blockbuster run all over. Since VEER is about pre-independence India and a fight against the Brits, has Anil Sharma made any conscious attempts to show Muslims in a positive light because they fought along with Hindus in the war for independence?
"Arrey, I never thought about this entire 'let's paint them as positive or negative' business, whether it comes to Hindus, Muslims or Brits", says Sharma in an irritated tone, "VEER is an epic love story of a warrior set in pre-independence era and one should see the film for that more than anything else."