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Say it like it is

Updated on: 28 January,2023 07:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Uma Ramasubramanian |

Mission Majnu director says spy thrillers must steer clear of jingoism by respecting audience’s intelligence, having subtle approach to patriotism

Say it like it is

Mission Majnu

Espionage thrillers in Bollywood tend to be hyper-stylised. That is what sets Mission Majnu apart, believes Shantanu Bagchi. The director says that he has lent a realistic treatment to the Netflix film that sees Sidharth Malhotra as an undercover agent who heads to Pakistan to find information about its nuclear weapon facility. “Our job is to engage the audience. So, we have [depicted] the life of a spy honestly, unlike many other films where the agent is stylised and dramatic. While there are over-the-top agents like James Bond, here, he is real,” he shares.

Shantanu Bagchi

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What makes an espionage thriller tricky is that it can often tilt towards becoming a jingoistic film. Bagchi agrees that one needs to tread with caution. “You only go overboard when you think people will not get what you’re trying to say. But the audience is intelligent. So, even a little goes to make an impact. When somebody is talking about their country and patriotism, it should look like he feels it, and not as if he is just mouthing the dialogues.” He adds that Malhotra was the perfect fit for the role. “Sid is good in such a realistic role; it wasn’t about being flashy. I wanted the audience to connect with the protagonist.”

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