“Gunday”, which opens in cinemas on Valentine’s Day, stars Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles. Zafar spoke to Reuters about the movie and the challenges of filming a period thriller.
Here are slightly edited excerpts from the interview:
Are you familiar with the milieu “Gunday” is based in?
More than that, I was very fascinated with that history, so I read a lot about it. Also, my dad was posted in the Border Road Services during the 1971 war and when we were growing up, he used to tell us stories of the war. He used to tell us about immigration that happened across the border. Those memories stayed with me. As kids we weren’t allowed to watch movies, except for some films like “Kaala Patthar” or “Mashaal”. He believed that there were film-makers who were making films about right and wrong, and as a growing kid you need to have an understanding of that.
But can you draw your moral lessons from cinema?
You can’t do that always. But the whole rise of the “angry young man” in the 1970’s and 80’s was as a result of the conflict that the youth of the country was trying to deal with. Commercial films at the time had a context to it, and in “Gunday” we were trying to find that context, which is why it is a period film. We are not glorifying gundagardi (hooliganism) in any way, but we are saying that if someone is deprived of basic rights, there will certain youth who will be disillusioned and go over to the dark side. In a way, the system creates its own enemy. And it is a relevant context even now.