The success of Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917 reminds us of how much J P Dutta contributed to making the genre in India globally respectable with Border and LOC Kargil, specially the former. The latter in spite of its stellar cast which read like the who’s who of Bollywood, and stunning war sequences , suffered due to its inordinate length.
But Border remains the single-most important war epic of Indian cinema.
Recalling the film’s across-the-board success Dutta says, “There was a lot of junoon and passion behind that film. Although we didn’t have the financial resources of Dunkirk or 1917 we made it exactly the way we wanted to without compromise. All the actors , Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty,Akshaye Khanna, Tabu, Pooja Bhatt etc were fiercely dedicated. They spent months in locations where there were no amenities , forget luxury hotels.”
J P Dutta whose last war film Paltan turned out to a damp squib says he wants the same level of commitment from his actors and technicians that he got in Border. “And for that I need to collect my team carefully.I want to work with the bright talent around me. I am confident we can do another war film like Border.”
J P’s elder daughter Nidhi continues to be a pillar of strength . “She has put her own acting career on hold to look after our production house.”