After all the controversies between John Abraham's company JA Entertainment and KriArj Entertainment, Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran, is ready to release nationwide. The film stars John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani in the lead roles. Amidst the film promotions, we got a chance to talk with this talented actor/ producer, John Abraham. Coincidentally, we sat at the same place, where director Abhishek Sharma narrated a 10-page plot to him of Parmanu.
In a chat with Filmibeat, John Abraham says, "I don't want to make an overtly intelligent film, so we made it very simple. So that even a child or employee or 'chai wala' can also understand what happened on 13 May 1998. You can say that this is not a patriotic film, but when you will walk out from theatre, you will feel blessed to be an Indian."
Excerpts from the interview....
After so many hurdles, now the movie is releasing. So, how are you feeling?
Feeling relieved. Usually at this point of time, just before the film release, one should feel nervous about the reactions. But we have not even reached that stage. We are just happy that film is releasing and thankful to the honourable High Court for exactly putting out this verdict.
As a producer, what made you to choose the subject, nuclear test. Do you think this will appeal to majority of cinema audience?
Abhishek (director) narrated the idea to me. And I was like, why in all these years no one thought to make a movie on this subject. This is one of the biggest achievements of Indian history after independence. We repeat the same subject, we make love stories and all, but how nobody touched this.
When he narrated the idea to me, the first thing I thought was, this is a very difficult film. And second thing was, how would I pull it off. And when I have those questions I was sure that I am going to do this. I wanted to give it a try, I wanted to challenge myself. And the whole credit goes to Abhishek and his entire team. And honestly, I am also thankful to Diana for doing this. And the entire cast for making this happen in record time. We completed the shooting 2 days before the scheduled time.
What are the key points you kept in your mind while doing this film, as this is based on a real life incident?
Parmanu is a true story. So the first thing to keep in mind is to do research. You can't mess with the plot. Our plot is 85-90 percent accurate, based on facts, while we have to fictionalise other 10-15 percent. We obviously couldn't use real names like APJ Abdul Kalam, P Chidambaram, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.. so we have to fictionalise certain names and characters.
There is so much information in the film, we have to establish that information with our audience in the first 20- 25 minutes. I don't want to make an overtly intelligent film, so we made it very simple. You can say that this is not a patriotic film, we made it an engaging thriller. But when you will walk out from theatre, you will feel that 'I am proud to be an Indian.'
What preparations have you done for this movie?
We have done workshops as getting into army uniforms is a very big responsibility in itself. We can't make mistakes. And of course research work. Whatever you will see in the movie , everything what we followed is very accurate. When you see the credit, you will know how much research have been done.
One works so hard on a film but sometimes it doesn't work. So, does failure affects you?
Actually no, I think it's just because things happen so fast. You don't have time to sit back and think what worked and what didn't. And there are so many elements of a film. We can't point out one single reason in a film which did not work out.
John Abraham as a producer backs different kinds of films, but it comes to acting he chooses different. Why?
Very honestly, I think differently as a producer. But as an actor people love to see me in a certain way. If you ask me about my favorite genre, it is comedy. I love doing films like Welcome Back. I can also produce comedy films, if I find some good scripts, except adult comedy films. But people want to see me more in films like Madras Cafe. So I try to balance both out.
There are reports that storyline of your upcoming film RAW is somewhat similar to Raazi. So, the makers are working on the script again. Is it true?
We have stuck by the script that was narrated to me, I think 4 to 5 months ago. So we have not moved from that. And I have not seen Raazi, though I have heard it's a lovely film. But ya, we didn't deviate from our script. So, I really can't comment on the similarities because I haven't seen Raazi.