Sorry, Ramu, you can't shoot 26/11 film at CST

The debacle of Department has failed to deter filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma and he’s quickly moved on to his next opus – perhaps his most controversial. The filmmaker was at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) yesterday, reportedly seeking permission to shoot some scenes for The Attacks of 26/11, which has already gone on the floors. RGV had courted controversy when he visited the terror-ravaged hotels soon after the terror strike, in the company of then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

In front of the lens: Ram Gopal Varma’s The Attacks of 26/11 has already gone on the floors. File pic

At around 3 pm, RGV and his team members came to meet railway officials from the public relations department with his idea. CR authorities, who were hesitant about the matter, denied permission and have now asked him to approach the Railway Board in Delhi.

A TV grab of Ram Gopal Varma during his visit to Taj Hotel after the 26/11 terrorist attacks

Reel terror
“We don’t want any gory images or blood to be shown as the incident was sad for the nation. So, we have asked them to send the proposal in writing and we will be permitting them to shoot the scenes only if we feel that it will not affect the railways’ image,” said another CR official. Sources in CR claimed the 26/11 attacks being a sensitive issue, they had been deferring meeting RGV to avoid any hullabaloo.

Not for the silver screen: A mock-drill at CST last month. file pic

“The former CM was caught in a controversy due to his visit to Taj Hotel along with Varma soon after the attacks. We don’t want any such episode again,” said a senior CR official on condition of anonymity. “RGV wanted to shoot his film by recreating the scene at CST station. But this being a sensitive issue, we wouldn’t grant him permission unless the Railway Board gives its nod,” said another senior railway official on condition of anonymity.

Fruitless trip?
When contacted, CR general manager Subodh Jain confirmed Varma’s visit but refused to divulge any further information. The filmmaker’s team is also scouting other locations and strategic items like Cama Hospital and the vehicle by which the terrorists had entered and gone on a rampage around the city. Also, they are trying to rope in the railway announcer who saved many lives on the night of the attacks. “The film is in the nascent stages and we are surveying the locations. RGV is known for making realistic movies and he is trying to do his best for this film on 26/11,” said Deepak Bhanushali, location in-charge of this film, who accompanied Varma yesterday. RGV meanwhile said, “The railways have not denied us permission as we have not formally applied yet. We are still in the process of research.” 

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