Angad Bedi on Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl: Flak the film is getting is unfair
As Gunjan Saxena trailer reignites insider-outsider debate, Angad Bedi on how films are a collaborative effort and not driven only by stars
The trailer of Janhvi Kapoor-fronted Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, which dropped on Saturday, received love and brickbats in equal measure. As the conversation around star kids continues, Angad Bedi — who plays Kapoor's brother in the film — dismisses the insider-versus-outsider debate, emphasising that a film is a collaborative effort at the end of the day.
"It's my film, too," he states, when we get on a call. The movie, helmed by debutant director Sharan Sharma, also features Pankaj Tripathi in a key role. "Everyone has a right to their opinion, but people are spitting fire against one another. The flak [that the film is receiving] is unfair. Every industry is competitive. I have auditioned for over 300 movies, and every rejection has been a learning experience. My role in Soorma  led me to this film. I had gone to meet Shashank [Khaitan], who, in turn, made me meet Sharan. After I tested for the role, Sharan told Karan [Johar] he wanted me for the part. There are lakhs of people in the industry, so it's only fair that we all get a chance. Actors are like any other professional who work for a pay cheque."
He further adds, "I have made my career here, I make money from it to look after my family and in so many years, I have not had one bad producer. Of course, that’s my own trajectory and journey which is independent of someone else’s experience. I did Ungli, years ago, with him. There are lacs of people in the industry so it’s only fair that we all stand a fair chance."
The movie narrates the real-life story of the first woman Indian Air Force officer who flew into the combat zone for reconnaissance mission and casualty evacuations during the Kargil War. Amid the noise surrounding the film, does Bedi worry that people will forget the story of Gunjan Saxena's bravura? "The story is a celebration of human triumph and will-power. If you don't think you are good enough, no one else will. She made a place for herself when it was unthinkable. This is not just a celebration of women, but a tribute to the soldiers."
Though Bedi never met Saxena, he did spend time with Anshuman Saxena, he tells us. "Our director Sharan is a bright young boy and he got the crux of this character for me. If Gunjan's father gave her wings, her brother kept her grounded. Being an army man, he knows the realities of the job. For me the roughest was getting the right camaraderie with Janhvi. I had known her socially but through the workshops, we grew thick. Sharry (Sharan) would make us do lines together. Janhvi and I come from different worlds and over the film, she became a part of my family and that's the energy we needed to depict. We discussed our childhood."
Quiz him as a key cast member, how does he view the decision of releasing the film on Netflix. "As an actor, when I came to Mumbai I wanted to get a great part and excel at it. The change has already happened as we speak. When I want people to see my work, how else to go about it except the DTN release way. It was tragic how Angrezi Medium released and the next day theatres across the country shut down. Hypothetically, even if this were to be released at a theatre, I am not sure (till a vaccine comes) how many people will walk into a theatre to watch a film with such a strong fear hovering over their heads."
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