6 Years Of Rishi Kapoor’s Dawood Act In D Day. Director Nikhil Advani Reminisces

6 years  ago, on  19 July 2013, Nikhil Advani’s crime thriller D  Day was  released. It was a conjectural spy drama  about a  group of  Indian intelligence officers nabbing a Don allegedly modeled on   Dawood Ibrahim , from Pakistan and bringing him to India  by road.

Recalling the  film and its censored version whereby the Dawood-like figure had  to be re-named  Nikhil says,  “At that  point of time we  couldn’t  be fully truthful, not as truthful as we can be now. But I didn’t resort to subterfuge. I didn’t refer to Pakistan  as ‘bagal wala mulk’ or  ‘hamara padosi dushman’ etc.”

Speaking of casting Rishi Kapoor as  Dawood, Nikhil says,  “It was a daring move, considering Rishi  Kapoor  had  a romantic image all his career.But he did play the dark and sinister Rauf Lala in  Dharma  Productions’  Agneepath. That  was  my cue for  signing him  to play  the  crimelord  in D Day, and  boy, was I  right in my decision!”

As Dawood…sorry, Iqbal Seth, Rishi Kapoor  was  an  asset to the  film. “He brought a  childlike  quality  to  the  crimelord’s role. It wasn’t  the first time that Rishiji had played a negative character. But it  was certainly  the  first time that an international crimelord was played with a  mix of  hard-core  stealth and  naïve glee,” says Nikhil.

D Day started a  new phase in my career as a  filmmaker which has now culminated in Batla House.  Coincidentally Rishji is all set  to  start a fresh innings in his  life and career and Arjun Rampal who  played  one of the  central characters, became  father  to a  son  on July 18. I guess  D Day has  some   kind of relevance to all of us who were part  of it,”  Nikhil ends happily.

D Day  was  not a  remarkable  boxoffice success. Does Nikhil feel  it came ahead  of its times?

“Perhaps  it was a little  before  its time. Today when  Anubhav Sinha is making films like Mulk  and  Article  15 and I am  ready with Batla House it does feel as if  the time for D  Day is now.”

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