Hansal Mehta’s Simran is all set for a theatrical release this Friday but the lead actor, Kangana Ranaut, is talking about everything but the film. While everyone is pointing fingers at Kangana for taking the attention away from the film, the one who has come out in her defence is the film’s director, Hansal Mehta.
Recently, Kangana appeared on the show Aap Ki Adalat and talked about her alleged relationship with Hrithik Roshan, Aditya Pancholi and Adhyayan Suman. But Hansal believes that Kangana speaking about her personal issues should not be seen as part of film’s publicity. “I think connecting her (Kangana’s) personal issues to a film and its publicity will be trivialising her personal issues and her courage with which she is answering all these tough questions,” he says, insisting that Kangana is doing nothing but answering questions posed to her by the media.
Kangana Ranaut, singer Shalmali Kholgade, music composer duo Sachinâ Jigar and Hansal Mehta during the song launch of Simran.
Asked about the absence of the usual publicity events around Simran, Hansal says, “Film publicity nowadays follow templates and we did not want to do that. She (Kangana) is only answering the tough questions being posed to her, and she is answering them without flinching. We are quite happy with the good response that we have received on the trailer and songs of Simran. We did not want to anything else, did not want to follow the usual publicity template.”
Elaborating about his film, Hansal says, “Simran is the story of Praful Patel, a Gujarati girl in the suburbs of Georgia who has aspirations and wants more freedom than she already has. In the process, she gets embroiled in debts and then crime but the film is, essentially, a story of hope. Simran, the character and the film is about the pursuit of happinness. I believe people will relate to it because all of us are in search of happiness.”
Hansal’s filmography includes award-winning movies like Aligarh and Shahid. While most of his oeuvre is dark, Simran has a very light and happy feel to it. “As a director, I wanted to challenge myself and explore new horizons. Working with a star like Kangana, I thought, is the best way to do that. But Simran is still very much my kind of film — it talks about the marginalised section and immigrants. The only difference is that it is full of hopes, aspirations and a pursuit of happiness,” he says.
Hansal’s Rajkummar Rao-starrer Omerta premiered at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival. The film recounts the real-life story of the infamous British-born terrorist, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who kidnapped and murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.
Talking about Omerta, Hansal says, “I think Omerta went beyond cinematic experience because people were angry and upset after watching it. There were very polarised reactions to the film because it talks about the truth. Blaming communities and cities is not the solution, we need to be inclusive of individuals to ensure that people do not become terrorists.”
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