Naseeruddin Shah, who previously worked with Vivek Agnihotri on The Tashkent Files, said that he was shocked to see The Kashmir Files doing well at the box office.
Filmmaker Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s The Kashmir File which recently won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration at the 69th National Film Awards has been a topic of discussion since its release last year for its subject. The film is based on the 1990 exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.
In a recent interview, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, who had previously collaborated with Agnihotri on The Tashkent Files, said that he was shocked to see The Kashmir Files doing well at the box office. “It’s disturbing that films like Kashmir Files are so massively popular whereas films made by Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, and Hansal Mehta, who are trying to portray the truth of their times don’t get seen. But these filmmakers mustn’t lose heart and continue telling stories.”
Reacting to Shah’s comments, Agnihotri told News18 Showsha, “I don’t think that after winning the National Award these crazy people will stop criticising which is in the interest of the country. These are crazy people. Imagine there is a state where around 5 lakh people are displaced killed, murdered, and raped and these guys say nothing like this happened, it is all propaganda. Naseer Bhai has grown old and cynical. I don’t think he knows what he is talking about. He needs some help.”
The film, which featured Anupam Kher, Darshan Kumar, and Pallavi Joshi in lead roles, emerged as one of last year’s biggest Hindi hits with reported earnings of over Rs 250 crores.
Meanwhile, Agnihotri is currently gearing up for the release of The Vaccine War, which is scheduled to release on September 28. The film features Pallavi Joshi, Anupam Kher, Nana Patekar and Sapthami Gowda, among others, and revolves around India’s victory in preparing a vaccine for the world to save them from the hazardous COVID-19 pandemic.
Talking about the film, he said, “We often think that the country’s soldiers are those who take guns and fight on the border, but in this situation, there were a lot of people like COVID-frontline workers, those in administration, those flying special planes, and of course, the scientists, who were trying to protect our lives and the sovereignty of the nation.”
Based on “Going Viral: Making of Covaxin” by Balram Bhargava, the former director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Agnihotri says the film will also “expose the usual suspects” who tried to sabotage the development of an indigenous vaccine during the pandemic for their political agenda. “If we’re making a film called The Vaccine War, the enemies of India will be exposed. Our film is a true story and doesn’t shy away from naming a few politicians as well as prominent journalists who were getting money to promote foreign vaccines and were trying to sabotage the Indian vaccine for their political agenda. The names taken care of the ‘usual suspects’, who always stood against anything that’s in the interest of the country.”