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What is repetitive and what might be the highlight of RAAZI. (A pre-release overview by Bobby Sing)

11 May, 2018 | Articles on Cinema / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / R

Meghna Gulzar’s latest offering RAAZI is the story of a girl who risks it all spying for India, marrying a Pakistani army officer as her mission. Featuring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal in the lead along an interesting cast ensemble, RAAZI shows promise, especially due to the one man associated with it, we know as GULZAR.

The father-daughter duo has worked together in Meghna’s earlier films too, but this time its different as its about our neighboring country and its people, that has been the key feature of Gulzar’s most expressive as well as impressive writings till date. And in Meghna’s own words (as published in the media), Gulzar has supervised the dialogues and script of the film along with penning down the lyrics, which in turn has elevated the whole project a few notches higher.

However, where the author/poet/lyricist remains the key attraction of RAAZI talking about Pakistan, its subject is not anything entirely fresh or novel, as already seen in Anil Sharma’s mega project HERO: Love story of a spy released in 2003. The film had Preity Zinta playing a similar role of a spy living in Pakistan, working for the Indian army represented by Sunny Deol. And watching the few scenes in the trailer, Alia immediately makes you recall Preity doing the same things in her film released 15 years back.
Incidentally, Chetan Anand's HINDUSTAN KI KASAM released in 1973 revolving around the Indo-Pak war of 1971 also had a similar plot of a girl (Priya Rajvansh) sent to Pakistan as a spy engaged with a Pakistani officer, becoming the first film to exploit this identical premise.
But where Anil Sharma's HERO didn't entirely revolve around this particular plot and HINDUSTAN KI KASAM had a double role incorporated in its storyline, RAAZI seems to be elaborating on the same with a completely different perspective and story progression. Moreover, here we have one unusual, worth mentioning point about the actual source of its content raising a valid question.
RAAZI is based on Harinder Singh Sikka’s debut novel “Calling Sehmat”, which is about an Indian-Kashmiri secret agent in Pakistan, spying around the Indo-Pak war in 1971. As a former Indian Navy Officer, Sikka reveals his novel to be inspired from a real life Kashmiri lady, who married a Pakistani Army officer in order to get some classified information for the Indian army.
As mentioned in an old interview in THE HINDU, it took the author many years to fictionalize the story into a novel, which eventually got released a decade back in 2008, published by Konark Publishers.
Harinder S. Sikka released his novel based on a real life story in 2008, which actually happened around 1971 during the Indo-Pak war. But interestingly Anil Sharma made his film in 2003, having a similar plot written by Shaktimaan penning the story, screenplay & dialogue for HERO and Chetan Anand made his film way back in 1973.
Now the question arises that,
Was Shaktimaan or Anand aware of any such real life story happening back in 1971?
Did Shaktimaan have HINDUSTAN KI KASAM as his major source of inspiration?
Was it just a coincidence that they individually came up with an exciting story idea of an Indian spy-woman, who actually did exist in the real world ………… on whom another person also wrote his own fictional novel. 
Intriguing questions indeed, that can only be honestly answered by the writers themselves.

(Note : The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App on 11th May 2018)

Tags : A pre-release overview on RAAZI by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi films reviews by Bobby Sing, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing
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