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Rajpal plays a rapist in <i>Undertrial</i>

By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Producer Nazim Rizvi who was in jail for alleged underworld connections met a man in prison who proved to be the inspiration for his new production.

Recounting the experience, the film's lead Rajpal Yadav says, "At least one good thing came of Rizvi Saab's stint in Thane jail. He met Asghar Hussain, the man from Lucknow accused of raping three of his daughters. Rizvi Saab decided to get first-time director Aziz Khan to direct the film."

Rajpal was stunned when he was offered the role. "How could I play a man accused of such a heinous and unthinkable crime? But to me, the challenge as an actor is to go beyond my own expectations. I immediately began to think about the character, his motivations and his frustrations."

And now the film entitled Undertrial is ready for release in January 2007. "The producer took on the task of intense research. And we came across some startling facts about the man accused of such bestial behaviour."

Says Rajpal Yadav, "What made up my mind about the role was some phone calls that I made to the protagonist's home town in Lucknow where people had asked for Asghar Hussain to be hanged. I inquired in Lucknow as to what happened to the man they wanted executed. No one had a clue! That's when I thought of those heroes and villains who get lost in the passages of time. I knew Asghar wasn't what he was made out to be."

Undertrial was shot on actual location in Thane. Recounting the experience Rajpal says, "1500 inmates of the jail participated in the shooting. This is the first time that a film has been shot from its first frame to the last on location in an actual jail. And I'm the first actor from any part of the world to play a man accused of raping his own daughters."

Interestingly the real accused rapist's name has been changed to Sagar Hussain in the film. But Rajpal hopes to show the film to the real character. "Yes. Asghar Hussain is alive. Hopefully this film will tell his true story to a world which has no space for justice, only sensationalism."

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