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Aziz Khan on <i>Undertrial</i>

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By: Screen Weekly, IndiaFM
Friday, December 29, 2006
Debutant director Aziz Khan has handled a sensitive subject that of a father who is accused of raping his daughter continuously for eight years, in Undertrial that is due for immediate release, Excerpts from an interview.

The film is based on a true story.
Yes, we have picked the contents of our story from the life of Asghar Hussain, a resident of Mumbra, who was accused of raping his daughter continuously for eight years and also for conspiring to murder them.

What message did you want to send across by filming this sensitive issue?
The story of Asghar Hussain sent shivers across the country and was widely discussed. Not only was Hussain ignored by the society but he was much hated even by the fellow prisoners of the Central Jail where he was lodged. Through the film we have tried to convey that before leveling any accusation against anyone it is necessary to asses the situation. It is no point leveling allegations without confirming whether the crime one is alleged to have committed is true or not.

How much of the film is real and how much is fiction?
Everything of the film is based on the actual story of Hussain, in fact the central character played by Rajpal Yadav is called Sagar Hussain. If we had to make the film as per his real-life story it would have got boring. Since we were making a film we had to take cinematic liberties to make the film both entertaining and engrossing.

Why did you choose Rajpal Yadav to play the central character?
Earlier many artistes have gained prominence by playing off-beat roles. Since Rajpal Yadav happens to be from the stage and is a versatile actor, we chose him to essay this character. In a way selection of the main protagonist is something off beat.

But he does not have any star value.
We weighed all the pros and cons before signing Rajpal Yadav to play the main protagonist. We also had in my mind that his Ladies Tailor didn't do too well. All said and done, we decided to experiment with Rajpal Yadav. And believe me, Rajpal has vindicated faith.

Tell us something about the Thane jail where you shot your film, and also about the prisoners.
Contrary to what we had in mind, we found the jail very neat and clean. We have a different image about our jails. But in reality it is just another home where one has to live in seclusion. Having to witness a shoot in the jail was a big was a big event for the inmates. Believe me; in the 9 to 10 days we shot there, not a single moment was there when we did not enjoy shooting.

Any experience you want to relate?
This being my debut film, the entire filming period itself was an experience for me.

What about the music of the film?
We have kept only two songs, one composed by Anu Malik and the other by Shamir Tandon.

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