Mid Day plays a pivotal role in Anant Mahadevan's next Gaur Hari Dastan -- based on the |story of a real-life freedom fighter
Contrary to common industry complaint about the dearth of original ideas, director Ananth Mahadevan says that some of the best stories come from newspapers.
Ananth Mahadevan shooting at the Mid Day office for his film.
Pic/ Satyajit Desai
The director who made movies like Red Alert: The War Within and Mee Sindhutai Sapkal, the ideas of which were triggered off by news reports about Naxalites and a social activist respectively, has sourced his next from the real-life story of a freedom fighter, Gaur Hari Das. And the Mid-Day newspaper plays a significant role in the film.
The real Gaur Hari Das
Talking about shaping up this film, Ananth, who won the National Award for Mee Sindhutai Sapkal, says, "Considering that I read 20 stories in a day from the papers, I was taken aback by this one article about a freedom fighter who got his official certificate after years of running from pillar to post for it.
He had to apply for the certificate as his son wanted to pursue engineering at Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute. The officials there told him that it would be easier if he could submit a copy of his father's certificate.
So through the reporter, I managed to get in touch with Hari Das's friend, Rajiv Singhal, who wanted to know why I wanted to meet him."
Luckily for the filmmaker, the friend agreed to help him meet the freedom fighter. Needless to say, Hari Das's first question to Ananth was, "Why do you want to make a film on me?" After the director explained the reasons for making the film on him, he was given the documents that the freedom fighter put together to get his certificate.
Vinay Pathak plays the veteran freedom fighter in Gaur Hari Dastaan -- The Freedom File, produced by Sachin and Bindiya Khanolkar. Oscar winner Resul Pokutty is designing the sound, while National Award winner Sreekar Prasad is editing the film shot by cinematographer Alphonse Roy.
Considering the idea was triggered by a newspaper report, Ananth says it was essential to have a news publication playing a vital part in the script. "So we have Ranvir Shorey, playing a Mid Day journalist, who decides to take up a story on the freedom fighter.
And even manages to convince his editor, who had initial reservations about a serious story featuring in a youthful paper," says the director adding that Ranvir's journalist makes the editor see reason behind the importance of driving such a strong story.
"More so considering that it was easier for Hari Das's son to get admission in a US engineering college than for them to get the freedom fighter's certificate."
The filmmaker further asserts that the last time he saw a paper playing a significant character in a movie was Citizen Kane (1941). "The Inquirer had a pivotal role because the protagonist owns the paper. So after over 70 years, we're having a paper play such an important part in a film," enthuses Ananth.
On the sets
Director Ananth Mahadevan briefs Ranvir Shorey, Vipin Sharma
Vidya Malavade and Rahul Vohra for a scene of a meeting
Over a cuppa coffee in a Mid Day mug, Ranvir Shorey shares an
anecdote with Vidya Malavade in between shots
Vidya goes through her dialogue before her scenes...
And heading to face the camera for her next shot