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Hansal Mehta: Success has emboldened me to continue being fearless

Updated on: 06 November,2022 07:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

After helming the hit show, Scam 1992, Hansal Mehta on shifting gears to make hostage drama, Faraaz, with new faces

Hansal Mehta: Success has emboldened me to continue being fearless

Hansal Mehta. Pic/Getty Images

Hansal Mehta, who had a smashing success in Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story (2020), believes that the biggest upside of success is telling stories with abandon, without falling prey to compromises. “What has obviously changed for me is that I make some money,” he quips. “Besides that, I will always do what I do best—tell stories fearlessly. Success has emboldened me to continue being fearless.”

 Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story

His pursuit for brave stories has led him to Faraaz. After Scam 1992 that caught the nation’s interest, Mehta has shifted gears to make an admittedly “small” film featuring Zahaan Kapoor and Aditya Rawal. The film—which recounts the 2016 terror attack in Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, where armed gunmen held customers hostage for 12 hours before killing over 20 of them—was premiered at the BFI London Film Festival last month. “It was a conscious decision that the moment Scam 1992 comes out, I will get this film going [regardless of the former’s fate]. I have made it exactly how it should be made. It has no trapping, no stars. Casting for the movie wasn’t easy. We took months to get Aditya and Zahaan. Along with them, there are five new faces in the film. There was an exhaustive audition process; we then workshopped for months. Even when we shot, I would constantly shift the scenario. I wanted people to respond to the scenes in an impromptu way. The film is an example of exceptional casting.”

Also Read: Hansal Mehta: If I suggest new approach, her instinct kicks in

The hostage drama is set to release at a time when the world around us is increasingly sensitive. What are the challenges of telling stories that have a social impact, at such a time? “Shahid [2012] is on YouTube right now, and is completely mutilated as a movie. It hurts me as a maker. The film begins with the riot sequence eliminated. The challenge is to continue telling stories and find like-minded collaborators. On Faraaz, I lucked out. I found Anubhav Sinha and Bhushan Kumar to back the film. Given the socio-cultural climate we are in, the challenge is to release the film. Even business-wise, these are challenging times and we have to maximise a film’s potential to reach the masses and minimise monetary risk.”

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