The news of Sridevi’s sudden demise last month left everyone shocked. Mehta took to Twitter to share his grief, with the post, “There will never be another Sridevi. I was about to approach her for a film. That film will now be dedicated to her. If it finds an actor.”
There will never be another #Sridevi. I was about to approach her for a film. That film will now be dedicated to her. If it finds an actor.
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) 1519528321000
Prodded about the project, Mehta told “I will always regret that I didn’t approach her and could not make a movie with her. But I will make a film on her.” From her surreal beauty to her charming smile to her perfect dance moves, Sridevi — who began acting as a profession at the age of four – was known for her ability to slip into myriad roles.
Be it her double role in ‘ChaalBaaz’, as a woman with retrograde amnesia in ‘Sadma’, a shape-shifting woman in ‘Nagina’, a crime journalist in ‘Mr. India’, a mother who wants acceptance from her daughter in ‘English Vinglish’, or the revengeful mother in ‘Mom’ – Sridevi got into any character with much ease.
Mehta got a little introspective as he got talking about the project, divulging that the film may just be based on a book. But he refused to give out any more information. “It will be made,” he assured, adding: “There are actors (who I have in my mind). I might approach Vidya Balan. I will make the film,” he reiterated emphatically.
At the moment, Mehta is looking forward to ‘Omerta’ – his next project with actor Rajkummar Rao. Through the film, he traces the life of British-Pakistani terrorist Omar Saeed Sheikh. The film is shot in real locations across London and India while recreating Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Known for intense dramas like ‘Shahid’ and ‘Aligarh’, Mehta said, “We make the films because we want to challenge ourselves. We choose stories which are challenging… That is the joy of making the film.” With ‘Omerta’, he wants to ‘provoke a thought’.
“My intention is not to disturb people… my intention is to provoke a thought. My intention is to let you have your own emotions, your questions after watching the film.’
“This film has a variety of meanings for different people. For some, it is a thriller, for some it can be very cool. At a festival, women were swooning over Raj. They loved his evil act. They thought it was cool.”
“In Toronto, there were angry people, people were numb, people who were very upset. All these reactions are a result of the film depicting a certain truth,” Mehta said. As it nears its release date, Mehta is anxious about how the Indian audience will react to the film.
“I am actually very anxious. I want the people to watch the film. It is an important film. It is a complete anti-hero film. There is an antagonist who is unapologetic and unsympathetic. He is your principal character and to have that kind of principal character as your main lead and make a thriller…I am interested to see how the audience will respond to this anti-hero,” he said.
Director Hansal Mehta was planning a film with Sridevi