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|September 15, 2000||
Legends are made of these!
When Shaheed was made in 1965, it was a commercial hit. The film catapulted hero Manoj Kumar to the status of Mr Bharat.
Despite its raging success, no one else showed an inclination to explore the subject.
Thrity-five years later, filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi has now decided to make The Legend of Bhagat Singh.
Written by Anjum Rajabali and shot by ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan to the music score of A R Rahman, the film has been financed by diamond magnate Bharat Shah.
The idea originated from Rajabali, the scriptwriter. "One day, as Raj (Rajkumar Satonshi) and I were talking, I mentioned to him about my research on Hardayal MA, the man responsible for Uddham Singh.
"That was when Raj thought it was only right to make a film on the man who was so dedicated to the country. Especially in this day of widespread listlessness, selfishness and cynicism."
But Uddham Singh wasn't possible, since a film was already made on him. "So we thought, why not make a film on the person behind these young men?" says Rajabali.
Naturally, the name Bhagat Singh popped up.
The Legend Of Bhagat Singh will be filmed in English and Hindi. "It will also deal with Bhagat Singh, the man, rather than the freedom fighter. Of course, with the freedom movement as the backdrop.
"But the effort is to find out about the man who dedicated his life to the country. The man who could write so beautifully. Whether or not he fell in love... he died so young, at 23..."
"My motivation stems from this amazingly evolved and politically sensitive person. What he achieved in those 23 years is something I wanted to write about."
Will it be a commercial film like Hey! Ram?
"I really don't want to slot this film," claims Rajabali, adding, "if you stop to consider, Gandhi was a commercial film, too. Only, it was made differently.
"My aim is to explore the person behind the persona. And I feel that if the film was made against a credible setting, it will work with the people.
"Like Gandhi, the characters should have a universal appeal. Once you ensure that, any film with a historical background will work well at the BO."
Rajabali is still researching on Bhagat Singh, which will take him to Singh's hometown. "I have yet to meet the relatives and friends of the man. Only then will I write the script".
The film is scheduled to go on the floors by mid next year.
"The starcast has not been finalised, though we are looking for new faces," reveals Rajabali.
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