Meghna Gulzar: Raazi was a lot more than the story of a spy
Few would disagree if we said that Meghna Gulzar is a calm person, but there’s always a storm of ideas brewing within. Just like her character Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) from her latest offering Raazi, Meghna does her work quietly, sincerely and with conviction. The end result? Her film has impressed everyone — audiences, critics and her colleagues in the industry, and it has entered the 100-crore club. While numbers might matter to most filmmakers, for Meghna, it’s different.
“When you are making the film, you don’t think about these things because if you start tailoring your film to what the audience expects then where is your voice as a filmmaker?” she questions, adding, “I was fortunate to work with a team that had the same intentions as I had — of telling the story to the best of our abilities. I didn’t have to overstate anything in the film and I really appreciate the audience’s intelligence to have got it.”
Further talking about the making of Raazi, Meghna says that only when the film was completed, edited and ready, was she able to gauge the sort of impact it would create. She says, as a director, since she was so close to the process of making the film, she wasn’t able to see it in its entirety or have a more detached perspective. “But when I watched it for the first time, I was more than satisfied and in turn, it overwhelmed me. I was able to understand the impact of the tiny details and nuances of the film. It was saying a lot more than just being the story of a girl who was sent as a spy,” she explains.
Bringing her vision alive on screen were some really seasoned actors. But the one actor who has been highly appreciated is Alia. Meghna says nobody else would have fit Sehmat’s role except her. “I didn’t know Alia personally, and I had only seen her films. But I very strongly felt that it was only her who would be able to play the role of the 20-year-old, Kashmiri girl, who goes through that journey. Physically and personality-wise she was the perfect fit for Sehmat,” she says.
With Raazi running successfully, Meghna has moved onto working on the script of her next project, a film on the life of Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw. Ask her why she has chosen to make a few but impactful films and Meghna concludes saying, “It is a choice that starts right at the beginning when I pick a subject, it needs to be relevant and resonating. There is so much investment of time and money and so many people’s hard work involved that if it is a momentary and fleeting film, it’s really unfair to everyone.”