1. Raazi was originally titled Sehmat.Harindar S Sikka’s book on which Raazi was supposed to be based was called Calling Sehmat. And yes, Sehmat seemed the right title for the film.That was Alia Bhatt’s name in the film.What made the director Meghna Gulzar change the title? The story goes that at some point in her interaction with the author Sikka , Meghna for reasons best known to her ,decided to go her own way, radically away from Sikka’s narrative.
2. While Sikka’s Calling Sehmat was distinctly anti-Pakistani Meghna Gulzar decided to make the Pakistani characters humane and sympathetic. No harm in that. But in the process of humanizing the enemy Raazi, nee Sehmat, lost much of its original sting. If you see the film now, its politics seems extremely ambivalent. Whose side is this film on? And let’s be honest. In a film about an Indian spy who sneaks into Pakistan and marries into an army family to steal state secrets, taking sides is important.
3. Interestingly director Meghna Gulzar’s father the great Gulzar had been offered the same script to direct several years before by a different producer. But Gulzar Saab had bid farewell to his career as a director .After Hu-tu-tu in 1999 he never looked back.
4. Raazi was to be shot in Kashmir. But then the unrest took over and the venue had to be shifted to Film City in Mumbai. Alia Bhatt who had shot earlier in Kashmir for Highway and had visited the Valley again, was disappointed as she considers Kashmir to be the most beautiful location on earth. She says she would any day pack her bags and run to Kashmir for a holiday or a shooting.
5. Patiala masqueraded as Pakistan in Raazi. No Indian film in living memory has been given permission to shoot in Pakistan.