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Available on  gplay  » Movies » After Fighter, Another Film On Pulwama

After Fighter, Another Film On Pulwama

February 20, 2024 13:28 IST
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Telugu star Varun Tej's first pan-India film Operation Valentine will release on March 1.

Varun plays an air force pilot, and shows no signs of nervousness as he tells Subhash K Jha more about the war thriller: "I have been waiting for this day since I first heard the script. We are confident about how the film has shaped up. It's the most ambitious project in my career till date, and technically very challenging."

"Our team has been working day and night to deliver the best output and to give the audience a superb cinematic experience."

Varun shares his challenges to prepare for the role: "There were two aspects of prep for this role. One is the mandatory physical aspect, where I have to look like a fighter pilot. I believe that does half the job. For that, hitting the gym, getting a well-balanced diet... My main goal was to look agile and not too muscular.

"The other aspect is to behave, talk and walk like a fighter pilot. Manushi Chillar and I were lucky enough to have met some real life fighter pilots and to have interacted with them for a significant amount of time. We picked some nuances, body language and other aspects from them."

About the action sequences Varun says, "They were more of a challenge to the director, the action choreographer and the DOP (Director of Photography). There is obviously a lot of physical strain while shooting the action sequences but I loved filming them. It was tough but fun!"

He admits that Operation Valentine went through its share of delays.

"We had the normal hiccups that a project of this magnitude would have," he says.

"From the beginning, Director Shakti Prasad Singh Hada and I were determined to shoot in actual air bases and war locations, for which we got the consent of the MoD (ministry of defence) and the IAF (Indian Air Force)."

"Since the film is about the IAF, we wanted the Indian Army's approval and appreciation. We had sent the script of Operation Valentine to them at a very early stage and got their feedback. We had to match our shooting timelines with the MoD and the IAF."

"I mean, if you want to take a crew of 200 and shot in an airbase, you have to follow strict protocol, regarding security checkups, etc. That caused a little delay and we couldn't hit the December 8 release schedule.

"We were also lagging behind because we want the VFX to be just right. Delays apart, we are happy with our end product."

Is he nervous about comparisons with the recent Hrithik Roshan starrer, Fighter?

"Obviously, the comparison pops up because they are both aerial combat films and inspired by the same events," he says with a shrug.

"I cannot talk for that film, but Operation Valentine is our own interpretation of what happened in 2019 at Pulwama. I'm glad more films are being made on our armed forces. I'm pretty confident about the output and I'm sure everyone will resonate with the emotion in the film.

"I hope our intention behind making Operation Valentine -- to show the courage and valour of the Indian Air Force -- is conveyed."

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