Exclusive! Janhvi Kapoor: People said 'We are not going to let Gunjan Saxena have IMDb rating of more than 0

Updated: 13 August, 2020 16:49 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

In an exclusive interview with mid-day.com, Janhvi Kapoor and Sharan Sharma speak about Gunjan Saxena, the film and the IAF officer, addressing the issue of nepotism, and how Kapoor feels people should see the film for its integrity.

Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Janhvi Kapoor
Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Janhvi Kapoor

The debates and discussions around nepotism have been continuing on social media for a very long time. And after the unfortunate demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, the debate has only amplified. Star kids and filmmakers who work with them have come under the scrutiny of social media users.

One of the star kids who has been trolled is Janhvi Kapoor, the daughter of Sridevi and producer Boney Kapoor. In an interview with mid-day.com, the actress addressed the issue of nepotism, how unfair it can get at times, and how she was trolled by users after the trailer of Gunjan Saxena dropped in. Sharan Sharma, who has directed the film, was also a part of the interview.

Watch the full interview right here:

And the first question was directed to him and it was aptly about his meticulousness in following the events of the real Gunjan Saxena, Sharma said, "I was young at that particular time so wasn't prudent to Kargil. I was 11 at that time but I'm really lucky that nobody picked up her story in these many years and I got a chance to read her piece."

He added, "Once I met her and interacted with her, I realised that the detailing of the story with authenticity and integrity is immense. This is a life someone has lived. When I met her, she didn't ask me 'Oh, you haven't made any film, how can I trust you.' She understood the intention of what we were trying to do."

And a similar question was directed to Kapoor about her meetings and interactions with Gunjan Saxena and what insights she gave her. Kapoor said, "I think what we attributed to was to represent accurately the kind of soul Gunjan Ma'am is as a person. And I think it's a very stark contrast to what people would anticipate someone from the armed forces to be like."

She continued, "Gunjan Ma'am was on the sets more often than not since we were shooting at the Uddhampur base, so if there was any confusion about my walk, salute, or the Nehru cap tilting in the right direction, she was there." When asked about her reaction after watching the film, Kapoor directed the question to Sharma.

And this is what the director stated, "When the first cut was ready, pre-lockdown obviously, ma'am came to watch the film. I think Janhvi and I were very cool about it and ma'am wanted to see the film with me. When we saw the first half, I realised I was watching Gunjan ma'am on the screen played by Janhvi and it was bizarre so I didn't watch the second half and it really hit me, 'Oh god she's watching the film.'"

He added, "When she came out, it was the look in her eyes and she looked happy and proud of the film and that means the whole world to us." How fair is it to centre the film around controversy and negativity, given that it has taken a lot of effort to create a particular piece of work? 

Kapoor says, "It's funny that you mention that because I didn't feel I was in the eye of the storm till you said it. Maybe I'm living in a bubble. I'm hopeful only, I don't know whether I'm being naive or what but I do understand there's a very powerful sentiment on social media, but I'm optimistic that once people see the film, they'll like it. But Sharan still gets messages like 'We are not going to let Gunjan Saxena have an IMDb rating of more than zero." 

She continued, "I know nothing comes from frustration or aggression or negativity but it's also important to understand there's a sentiment underneath that and they feel like they need to be heard. We are sure of what we have done and we are sure of the hard work we have put in. I'm confident that people will recognise it."

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First Published: 13 August, 2020 08:15 IST

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