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Director Rajkumar Santoshi on his film 'Gandhi-Godse: Ek Yudh': Presenting both sides without being partial

Updated on: 12 January,2023 07:43 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hiren Kotwani |

Gandhi-Godse: Ek Yudh director says film explores conflicting ideologies of Mahatma and his assassin

Director Rajkumar Santoshi on his film 'Gandhi-Godse: Ek Yudh': Presenting both sides without being partial

A still from the film

How would the course of history change if Mahatma Gandhi had survived the assassination attempt? With Gandhi-Godse: Ek Yudh, filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi explores this alternate reality. The period drama imagines the Mahatma meeting Nathuram Godse in prison after his failed assassination attempt, thus exploring the conflicting ideologies of the two men.

Rajkumar Santoshi
Rajkumar Santoshi

Tell him that such a subject demands a balanced approach, and Santoshi says, “I sympathise with both Gandhi and Godse. As much credit as Gandhi got, he also faced allegations. To date, people ask why he couldn’t be more assertive about saving Bhagat Singh from the death sentence. Similarly, during his trial after killing Gandhi, Godse gave a statement in court, which was curbed for decades. Until recently, no one knew what he had said. I feel that was unjust to him. People should know what he had to say in his defense. The idea behind this film is to give a platform to Godse to express his viewpoint, and also to Gandhi to respond to the allegations. We are presenting both sides without being partial to anyone.” Does he worry about irking certain sections of the population with the movie? “When people saw that I had Asghar Wajahat writing for me, they accused me of being a Leftist. I’m not siding with any ideology. I have made this film with honesty.”

Also Read: Anuj Saini to make his Bollywood debut with 'Gandhi Godse-Ek Yudh'

The drama sees him return to direction almost a decade after Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (2013). Rumours were rife that Rajkummar Rao was initially considered for the film, which has been fronted by Chinmay Mandlekar and Deepak Antani. The director, however, clarifies, “I have always worked with stars. But I was clear that I didn’t want stars for this film. For Godse, I wanted a Maharashtrian actor who could speak Marathi lines organically. I opted for a Gujarati actor to play Gandhi.” 

The January 26 release will lock horns with Pathaan, but Santoshi is unperturbed about the clash. “Our initial plan was to release it on October 2, but the film wasn’t ready then. January 30 marks Gandhiji’s death anniversary, so we chose [the closest window].”

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