Thursday, January 20, 2022

Indo-Polish action thriller aims to rekindle bilateral ties

Director Vikash Verma says he has tried to weave the myriad relations between the nations through a love story.

An upcoming action thriller, No Means No, aims to deepen bilateral relations between India and Poland, just like Raj Kapoor’s 1970 movie, Mera Naam Joker, rekindled the bond between India and Soviet Russia.

The movie is the first Indo-Polish production and has been made in Hindi, Polish and English by Mumbai-based filmmaker Vikash Verma. The director said he has tried to weave the socio-cultural, religious, and bilateral ties between the two nations through a love story. The movie revolves around the story of an Indian man (played by debutant Dhruv Verma) who visits Poland to participate in a ski championship and falls in love with a Polish woman.

The cast includes actors Gulshan Grover, Deep Raj Rana, Sharad Kapoor, Nazia Hassan and Kat Kristian from India; and Natalia Bak, Anna Guzik, Sylwia Czech, Pawel Czech, Jersey Handzlik and Anna Ador from Poland. The playback singers include Shreya Ghoshal and Hariharan. Produced by G7 Films Poland, the snowy mountains and picturesque locations featured in the movie provide a glimpse into life in Poland and is likely to give a boost to the country’s tourism.

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One of the central themes of the film is women empowerment and features powerful female characters. Mr. Grover, who plays a lawyer from India, said, “Will the character of women be judged according to the length of their skirt? On the one hand, we pray to the deities of holy goddesses Durga and Kali, and on the other, we humiliate and objectify their real living forms. How long will this go on?”

Mr. Verma said when a woman says “no, it is a no. And nothing more beyond that. There lies the full stop.” The filmmaker said he plans to make another movie titled ‘The Good Maharaja’, which will be based on Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji Jadeja, the Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, Gujarat. In the pre-Independence era, the Maharaja provided shelter and education to around 1,000 Polish children evacuated from the USSR to escape German bombings during World War II.

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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants people from around the world to know how an Indian Maharaja, without caring for any adverse impact, went ahead to give shelter to the Polish children. One of these children went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland,” Mr. Verma said.

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The filmmaker said while researching for the movie, he found that the Polish government had installed a statue of the Maharaja in their Parliament and a road had been named after him. “But unfortunately not many people in India know about the great contribution of the Maharaja. Sanjay Dutt will play the titular role,” Mr. Verma said.

In a letter to Mr. Verma, Małgorzata Pępek, Member of Parliament, Poland, and chairwoman of the Polish & Indian Parliamentary group, said she is convinced this film will lead to interesting projects which will prove to be a marvellous way to promote Poland.

In a statement, Ajay Bisaria, former Indian Ambassador to Poland (now High Commissioner to Canada), said, “It [the film] underlines the cultural connections and friendship between the two countries.”

Deputy Prime Minister of Poland Professor Piotr Glinski, who is also in-charge of the culture ministry, has played a key role in the movie’s making.

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