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'Kartik's Performance Resonated With Army'

June 07, 2024 14:46 IST
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'I needed a lot of elements for this character, and I realised that Kartik definitely had the raw material to play Chandu Champion.'

IMAGE: Kartik Aaryan in Chandu Champion.

Kabir Khan's Chandu Champion, which opens next Friday, June 14, is garnering heaps of praise among preview audiences.

Says Kabir, "I hate to say this myself, but it's a very good film. Very inspirational and entertaining. We have our fingers crossed, but only because our audience is unpredictable. And we have fabulous songs. I am very proud and confident of the film. And this time there is no Omicron to spoil things."

On June 5. Indian Army personnel saw the first official preview of Chandu Champion, the inspiring bio-pic of Murlikant Petkar who was a jawan of the craftsman rank in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers in the Indian Army. Petkar was disabled during the 1965 War against Pakistan, sustaining severe bullet wounds.

He later became India's first Paralympic gold medalist in freestyle swimming.

There was not a dry eye among those brave soldiers who watched the film on June 5 about the valour of one of their own.

Says Kabir, "There's a new rule in which for any film that depicts the Indian Army you have to get a NOC from the army before you can apply for the censor certificate. At the time of that screening the army officers were so emotionally moved by the film that they said they must organise a screening for the chief of army staff."

"June 5 was that screening. The entire top brass of the Indian Army saw the film and felicitated Murlikant Petkar."

Special words of praise were lavished by the soldiers on Kartik Aaryan who plays Murlikant Petkar. Says Kabir, "It was a very emotional moment. Kartik's performance resonated with the army men who watched the film."


IMAGE: Kartik Aaryan and Kabir Khan in Dubai. Photograph: Kind courtesy Kartik Aaryan/Instagram

Kabir revealS how he stumbled upon Murlikant Petkar's story by chance.

"I came across Murlikant's story by chance. Someone gave me an old article and asked if I had read the story. When I read the article, my first reaction was that it couldn't be true -- so many things happening in such a dramatic way in one person's life seemed impossible."

"And if it was true, it was hard to believe that we didn't know about him. If he was such a big hero, how could we not know him? That's where it started, and it also took us a long time to find him. No one knew where he was because he was truly an unsung hero. A few months later, when we finally found him, there was no stopping us," he adds.

Kabir also spoke about why he chose Kartik Aaryan to play Petkar,

"I think directors do have an eye for talent, and I also think that more than just talent, it's also the feel of the person's energy. As a writer and director, when I am creating a character, an image is already formed in my mind. It's very important for me to see that energy in the actor," he said.

"Kartik had all the elements needed for Chandu Champion. I needed a lot of elements for this character, and I realised that Kartik definitely had the raw material to play Chandu Champion. More importantly, he had the correct energy and attitude to undertake such a journey."

With inputs from ANI

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