Acclaimed filmmaker JP Dutta on Kargil Vijay Diwas today and tells us why he made LOC Kargil
Today is Kargil Vijay Diwas, a day every year in honor of the Kargil War’s Heroes named after the success of Operation Vijay when on July 26, 1999, when India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. JP Dutta directed and produced the war film LOC Kargil based on the Kargil war which starred some of the biggest actors in Bollywood including Sanjay Dutt, Suneil Shetty, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Sanjay Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna, Rohit Roy, Ashutosh Rana, Manoj Bajpayee, Rani Mukerji Chopra, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Raveena Tandon, Esha Deol among others.
JP Dutta talks about today and LOC Kargil…
Today is Kargil Vijay Diwas. What is going on through your mind today?
It’s not only today but I think [beautifulquote align=”full” cite=””]we should think about the boys who have lost their lives[/beautifulquote] and given up their today for our tomorrow and thank them every day of our lives. But on a day like today my mind is always with the families of the soldiers and having met so many of them while researching on the film… I share their grief and feel their pain and pride at the same time.
When you made LOC Kargil what was your biggest challenge?
I faced many challenges before and during making the film but I needed to do it for the boys who laid down their life for us as their story had to be told. The main challenge was covering so many battalions in three hours and the research work that went into it. As a filmmaker it was one of my most challenging films as I had so many stories to depict and the shooting conditions in Ladakh were not easy either with the less oxygen and action sequences but I guess those boys sitting up in heaven looked after us and made the film possible. And the efforts of my crew who stood by me like a rock.
Are you in touch with the families of the Kargil war?
I’m still very much in touch with some of the Officers from the war and some of the families of the boys as well. Recently I went on Recce to Ladakh for my next film Paltan and met Major Balwan Singh who has been portrayed in LOC by Akshaye Khanna. And we were discussing LOC.
What inspires you to make such beautiful war movies?
I hail from an armed forces background of sorts as my uncles and cousins were in the armed forces. My younger brother Deepak Dutta was a Squadron Leader in the Air Force and lost his life in the service of the nation. But more importantly [beautifulquote align=”full” cite=””]the stories of the boys who die for us, is what inspires me as someone has to tell their story and immortalize them on celluloid forever. [/beautifulquote]
You had refused to trim the length of LOC Kargil because the families of the real life characters in the film would be disappointed…
When it came to trimming LOC more than I already had, I would have had to trim out a couple of characters and having met all the families I knew they would go into the cinema halls wanting to see their sons being portrayed on the big screen and I did not want to disappoint them. [beautifulquote align=”full” cite=””]At the armed forces screening in Delhi for LOC, officer Vijayant Thappar’s mother came on stage and thanked me for bringing her son alive for four hours. That in itself, is the biggest award I could get for making the film and like I say we will never forget our boys![/beautifulquote]