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Ashutosh Gowariker: One can’t include every bit of history in a film

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Mumbai, Nov 23 (IANS) Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker has faced threats from certain groups over possible misrepresentation of history in his upcoming period drama “Panipat”. The director feels raising questions is only natural, and adds that he has clarification for all questions raised.

“Whenever we make something on history in a film, it is natural that question will arise over what part of the story has been included and what has been excluded from the script. A history book contains so many pages of information, but one cannot fit everything into a film. It has to be within a time frame. So people had doubts if the contribution of their family has been showcased in the film,” said Gowariker.

“The contribution of people like Mallar Rao Holkar, Jankoji Shinde, Maharaj ji Shinde, Balwant Rao Mahendre Alkaji Mankeswar, Purandare among many others are the part of the film. So we have cleared the doubts and now it is all fine,” claimed the “Lagaan” famed director.

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The filmmaker faced threats and, reportedly, around 200 policemen had to be deployed for the security reason.

Asked if such fringe groups that protest before any historical film and appear on TV channels and other media platforms for instant fame, the filmmaker said: “I do not think so. We are living in a digital age where, through social media, we can comment on anything immediately. So, the reactions that are coming in are important and if there is any misconception, clarifying is also important.”

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Gowariker was present alongside the film’s lead cast, Arjun Kapoor and Kriti Sanon, along with music director duo Ajay-Atul, for the launch of the song “Mann main Shiva”. The song is sung by Kunal Ganjawala, Deepanshi Nagar, Padmanabh Gaikwad.

After the trailer was released recently, the film and its look drew comparison with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s lavish period dramas, especially “Bajirao Mastani”.

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“The comparison is natural because when I made ‘Jodhaa Akhbar’, it was compared with ‘Mughal-E-Azaam’, although there was no connection at all, apart from the fact that it was based in the Mughal period. When it comes to ‘Panipat’, the film talks of Sadashiv Rao Bhau, the next generation of Peshwa Bajirao. Sadashiv Rao Bhau was the son of Chimaji Appa, the brother of Bajirao. So, it is only normal that their clothing, appearance, houses would seem similar,” the filmmaker replied.

Gowariker took around one-and-half years to write the script of the film. “I have had all these actors in mind and I am fortunate to get them on-board,” he said, referring to Arjun, Kriti and Sanjay Dutt.

“Panipat” releases on December 5.

–IANS

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