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RGV eyes the Taj

Director Ram Gopal Varma to shoot a film on 26/11 terror attack, seeks government permission to shoot at original sites of attack

For 26/11 -- director Ram Gopal Varma's first international film on the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai -- realism is set to take on a whole new meaning. Varma has sought permission from the Maharashtra government and the hotel property owners to shoot the film at the Taj Hotel in Apollo Bunder, one of the sites of the attack.

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Though it's not clear if he will finally shoot at the Taj, he has secured consent to shoot at the other spots that were under attack on that fateful day.



"I want to focus on the human-interest angle in this film. For that I need to revisit on camera, the actual places of attack. I am not interested in making a studio-generated drama with dialogue-baazi. The characters will be in places where they were actually caught offguard when the attack happened. We're waiting for the required permissions. We'll shoot at the actual locations. How did a handful of terrorists manage to hold the entire city hostage? It's an incredible story," said Varma.

Varma, along with his scriptwriter Rommel Rodriguez, met survivors, cops and bystanders of the 26/11 attacks. Varma is also keen to meet Ajmal Kasab, the sole terrorist who was caught during the attacks.

Interestingly, Kasab will be the central figure in Varma's film. "I want to deconstruct this guy's inner life. From the outside he's a bundle of contradictions. But what is he like from the inside? What made him do what he did? And what goes on in his mind in jail? In the courtroom he kept staring unblinking at a woman junior lawyer. At times he would show no emotion. At other times he burst into tears. Was this man brainwashed into believing all Indians are to be eliminated?" Varma wondered.



The movie, which goes on the floors from January 2012, would be shot in English and Hindi and is aimed at the international market. "The whole world knows of what transpired on 26/11. I think this story needs to be told to the world," he added.

Auditions for the role of Kasab have already begun. It is likely that a newcomer will walk away with the part.

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