“I wanted to make a light-hearted period drama”

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Firangi director Rajiev Dhingra on why his film is special

BOI: How did you conceive the idea of Firangi?

I was greatly inspired by the writings of Munshi Prem Chand. During that period, stories were very innocent and captured the essence of our country. I wanted to show the protagonist of the story in a lighter space while also keeping it sensitive. But in that era, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and everyone co-existed peacefully. So I felt, why only show violence from that period as all the films do. Why not a story that would boast of their friendship and equality. Back then, everyone celebrated all our festivals, regardless of caste.

BOI: Was Kapil always the first choice?

I wrote this film with Kapil in mind. The nuances of the character, his characteristics and qualities are very similar to those of Kapil.

BOI: What about your association with Kapil?

I have known him since Std IX.

BOI: On the sets, did you and Kapil have any differences?

I took almost a year to write the script and, every day, I grew a little more as an individual. During this time, I used to meet Kapil and discuss the progress of the story. So the script wasn’t alien to him when he was on the sets. He understood exactly what I wanted from him. We had a lot of fun shooting the film.

BOI: Did you face any challenges?

Garmi! When we were shooting in April. Also, Kapil wasn’t keeping well for some time, so we were just a little worried about how the film would shape up.

BOI: How did you lock the rest of the cast?

It took quite a lot of time to find the heroine of the film. We were looking for someone who would look extremely humble on screen. The rest of the casting is quite credible. It is so real.

BOI: Name one of your favorite Independence-era films to date.

Lagaan. I love the characters in the film, and the film was shot in a good space.

BOI: How well do you feel the audience will receive your film?

It is a very simple film. People will connect with it because of its content and also because of the characters.

Box Office India
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As on 17th November, 2017
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