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The 5 Raaz From Raazi That You Didn’t Know

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.

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