Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha has recalled working with the late Rishi Kapoor on Mulk, and has expressed sadness at not being able to work with him again. Rishi died earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.
In an interview to Mumbai Mirror, Anubhav said that Rishi agreed to do Mulk after just a 15 minute narration, and asked, “Pura sunayenge (You’ll narrate the entire thing)?” Once he’d agreed to do the project, about a Muslim man forced to defend his family from religious bigotry, he asked Anubhav, “Hero kaun hai (Who’s the protagonist)?” Anubhav said that when he told Rishi that he was playing the ‘hero’, the actor was surprised.
Anubhav recalled how nervous Rishi was during the Central Board of Film Certification screening of Mulk, convinced that the film would be banned. “Chintuji wasn’t convinced the film was over and insisted I keep 10 days as a back-up. Then, one day my CFO came to me asking if I had some shooting left, saying Chintuji had allotted dates between January 5 and 15, 2018,” Anubhav said. “During the censor screening, Chintuji was on tenterhooks, calling every 30 seconds for an update, afraid Mulk would be banned. After a 90-minute discussion, when I stepped out with a U/A certificate and told him so, he repeated in disbelief, ‘You mean picture release hogi?”
The film opened to positive reviews, and Rishi soon left for the US for cancer treatment. “On his return, we met at the Bachchans’ Diwali party. I ran to hug him little knowing that he’d go away so soon. I had planned many more movies with him,” Anubhav said.
Mulk, also starring Taapsee Pannu, was a modest box office hit, despite the controversy. The filmmaker said that he has been working on two scripts during the lockdown, and would be pleased if Taapsee decides to star in one of them.
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