Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai
"This is the most emotional film of my career," Ram Gopal Varma said, during the launch of his new film, The Attacks of 26/11, based on the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai.
Apart from media persons, the families of the victims, survivors of the attack and the families of slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare and Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar were also present at the event which took place at NFDC, Worli in South Mumbai on November 23.
The owner of Cafe Leopold -- a restaurant in South Mumbai, where the attack started -- and the Chief fire officer, who was stationed at Trident Hotel were also a part of the event. RGV had earlier stated that he had no intention of making a film on the terror attacks. Later, he decided to go ahead.
"The entire truth has been uncovered by the investigators. By the virtue of an extensive knowledge I have gathered from various sources about the actual truth behind those attacks from both authorised and eye witness accounts, I developed a desire to make the film," he explained.
"Many of us know of the attacks which happened that night but very few of us have knowledge of how it happened. That is what we felt should be known to everyone in the world," he added. "The main subject of my film is Ajmal Kasab, who was one of the prime suspects and the face we know. I tried to study his mind very closely; tried to study the psyche of a terrorist."
Kasab was the only the terrorist captured alive by the police, and was hanged till death on November 21 at Yerwada Jail in Pune.
Since The Attacks of 26/11 is still underproduction, the director claimed he would incorporate Kasab's end in his film. "Until a few days ago, my film had an open ending. With Kasab's hanging, I have got the ending of my film," he said.
RGV had been severely criticised for visiting the Taj Hotel soon after the attacks along with late former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his son and actor Riteish Deshmukh.
Though RGV gave many clarifications then, he clarified once again at the event: "The reason why I went to the Taj then was nothing but a curiosity to witness a scene of an unprecedented happening. Since I just happened to be with Riteish, I took the opportunity (to visit Taj). Riteish did not realise people would read meanings into this act. His father Vilasraoji did not even know I was in the group. Rumours of me casting Riteish in the film were untrue."
He further added, "I agree that it is highly understandable that during those emotional and traumatic moments, it is very natural that people concerned would feel a strong sense of indignation on such seemingly callous and selfish behaviour. But like I said and maintained ever since, I never ever intended to make a film on those attacks when I went to the Taj."
The filmmaker had recently faced protests from the youth wing of the Samajwadi Party, who stated that the director was trying to make money out the sorrow of hundreds of victims and martyrs of the terror attacks. "If some people have a problem with my film, it is because of certain misunderstandings and misconceptions. They don't know about my honest and correct intention behind this film. As a matter of fact, many people went out of their way to co-operate with me during the shooting of the film. Even the police authorities helped me a lot. "