Naseeruddin Shah, Mithun Chakraborty to star in Lal Bahadur Shastri film
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri ropes in veteran actors Naseeruddin Shah, Mithun Chakraborty for his thriller on Lal Bahadur Shastri's mysterious demise
Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty
In January last year on the occasion of Lal Bahadur Shastri's death anniversary, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri had announced that his next revolved around India's second Prime Minister. mid-day has now learnt that the filmmaker has roped in veteran actors Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty for the film, which aims to investigate the "mysterious death" of the leader. Shastri passed away in 1966 in Uzbekistan after signing the Tashkent declaration with Pakistan.
Confirming the development, Agnihotri says, "Shastriji's death has been a big mystery and there have been a lot of theories around it. There are two narratives to any controversy. I wanted to narrate the two sides of the story to the audience, and thought who better than Naseerji and Mithunji?" In an industry obsessed with stars, the director believes that his film, given its central theme, required "credible actors." "I have done my casting on merit. I was sure that I didn't want to rope in a star for commercial reasons."
At the very onset, Agnihotri had initiated crowdsourcing of ideas on the subject and says that he is delighted with the response. "I received a lot of emails, which helped me do thorough research on the project. The film is almost a citizen investigation report." Ask him whether he expects any kind of backlash and he says, "I believe this is the most researched work on Shastriji. This is the most apolitical film about a political leader." The director is scouting for an actor to play the former Prime Minister before the film goes on floors next week.
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