Two films on Bhanwari Devi
With yet another Bollywood project being made on Bhanwari Devi, two filmmakers accuse each other of hijacking the concept
A fortnight ago, we reported on a new film being made by producer Nikhil Tonk on Bhanwari Devi, a victim of sexual molestation from Rajasthan who made national headlines. We now hear that another producer Ranjeet Sharma is also making a film on Bhanwari with director Rakesh Saini.
While Tonk was looking for an A-list actress to play the pivotal role, Sharma has roped in a relatively unknown actress Sadhika Randhawa to play the murdered woman. And now both the filmmakers are trying to establish their one-upmanship on the subject.
Speaking about why he is making a film on a subject that is already being used by another filmmaker, Rakesh points out, “Many people would want to make a film on a particular subject but who ultimately makes it is more important. Not only have we signed on all our actors, we have also started shooting, with a four-day spell in the real Bhanwari’s village and her house.”
The producer states, “While researching on Bhanwari’s case, we found out a lot of facts that even the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) hasn’t revealed in their findings. For example, Indra, the sister of MLA Malkhan who was also part of the crime was the main perpetrator and is missing.
The CBI has even announced a reward of R 5 lakh to anyone who helps nab her. Not to forget, we have the permission to shoot in the prison where the 17 people accused in the case are lodged.”
Nikhil Tonk who had earlier announced his plan to make a film on Bhanwari hits back, saying, “I don’t know the people who are making the film. Their film doesn’t affect my plans. If I’m meeting actresses like Mallika Sherawat, Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu and Kangna Ranaut, then you can imagine the kind of film I’m planning to make.”
He adds, “I’ve heard that producer/director K C Bokadia is also making a film on Bhanwari and wants to cast Bipasha. All said and done, I think it is foolish of people to take my concept,” he sums up.