Rajat Mukherjee’s upcoming film UMEED, a medical thriller talks about how the uneducated and poor people of India are becoming victims of unethical drug trials by Foreign Pharmaceuticals. Model Pallavi Das who is making her debut with this film narrates the story of the film from a common man’s perspective.
In an exclusive conversation with Glamsham, Pallavi speaks about how she bagged this film and also expressed her concerns regarding how poor people are being cheated and used as guinea pigs for unethical drug trials. The actress also talks about how their team is struggling to secure an U/A certificate, which the CBFC has refused to give. Read on to find out more:
You were a model and now you are about to make your acting debut with UMEED. So what inspired you to take up acting?
When I was modeling they sometimes send you for auditions for films and ads .So I had gone for few auditions and realized that I am interested in it so I started doing some workshop as well. Then again I gave few auditions and that’s how I got into acting.
So, how did you bag UMEED?
The makers of the film saw my pictures somewhere and then they wanted to meet me so then they called me for a meeting. When I met them they narrated the film to me and asked me to audition for it so I sent them few of my tapes, they liked it and then I signed the film.
What is UMEED which is a medical thriller all about?
It is actually the first medical thriller and it is about unethical clinical trials that are going on in the country and no one has really spoken about it before so the whole movie is about that and my character discovers what’s happening here from a common man’s perspective. I hope the film comes out soon as the makers are fighting to get a U/A certificate instead of an ‘A’ from CBFC.
Now that you have mentioned has CBFC really asked to remove ‘inspired by real incidents’ claim. Can you elaborate on that?
The director of this film, Rajat has done around 2-3 years of research on this subject. So it really doesn’t make sense to remove that claim from the film. The film is made because these things are really happening and a film is a great medium to tell people about what is going on. So we have created a story around real facts. And now we are fighting to get justice for film to be certified as U/A and not A, because it only make sense when people know about such subject otherwise what’s the sense of making a film on such subject.
Do you feel having a big banner’s name associated with your film would have made it easier to secure an U/A certificate?
I don’t really know as this is my first film so I don’t know how all this works. For me every day is a new day as I am learning new things. I am just going with the flow. Maybe it would have helped or maybe not we don’t know because it’s like a fully new team as even the director is making his debut. So all of us are experiencing these things for the first time.
How did you prepare for your role in this film?
The director was so well researched on this subject. He had lot of videos and I did couple of workshops too. So that helped me a lot. I came to know so many things on this subject only while working for this film. I am sure lots of people don’t know about this topic. The director made me watch lot of videos like the actual ones which is based on this subject. Besides, the makers used to call me couple of days before my actual shot, so that I could observe and learn from other actors’ shot and their scenes as we have some really good actors in this film. Couple of them I have seen while growing up so I spent a lot of time just observing them. And doing scenes with them was great and they helped by guiding me. The team was really good and they helped me a lot.
Personally, what’s your take on the unethical drug trials that’s been happening in India?
I think its very very wrong. Our film shows how in countries like America you can’t do that. See drugs trial needs to be done but you can’t use humans as guinea pig. It needs to be done ethically. The people on whom such trials are being conducted need to know about it, then there has to be a nutritionist and all such precautions. And people should also know about what they are getting into. You cannot cheat people into this . Just because people are not aware or educated you cannot treat them like their lives have no importance.
Now that the film is about to release are you excited or nervous?
I am both as I am very excited because it’s my first film and I want to see how people react to it but also I am quite nervous about it. So yeah it’s both.
What are your expectations from this film?
I am just happy being part of this journey. Got to work with so many talented and great people and I hope that the films turns out good and people enjoy watching it and also lot of awareness through it because that’s also the purpose of this film. So apart from getting information I want people to enjoy it as a movie too.