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‘Bandaa’ is a story of everyday heroes: producer Suparn S Varma

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NEW DELHI: There are several heroes in the interiors of the country whose stories go unnoticed and Suparn S Varma says his upcoming production “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” is an attempt to give voice to two such bravehearts who fought a long-running legal battle against a self-styled godman.

Billed as a power-packed courtroom drama inspired by true incidents, the upcoming ZEE5 original follows a lawyer, played by Manoj Bajpayee, who goes up against an influential godman accused of sexually abusing a minor girl.

Varma, best known for writing and directing Bajpayee-starrer “The Family Man” season two, said sometimes a certain incident “defines” who a hero can be.

“There are so many stories from the interiors of our country where there are everyday heroes. It’s not about muscle building, it’s about heart. It’s about that one incident that defines you from the rest. This is the story about that one incident where we have two heroes.

“The first hero is the minor girl who fought the tough fight despite the trauma. She fought the case for five years from the Sessions Court, High Court to Supreme Court. Second (hero) was the small-town lawyer who clashed with the bigwig lawyers. This story is already very astounding. He didn’t abuse the system, he used the system,” the producer told PTI in an interview here.

According to Varma, there are many challenges in bringing a story inspired from true events to screen, but he credited a more mature audience for being open to novelty.

“We are able to tell such stories (now) because we are living in a time where the audience is exposed to diverse content. Even the audiences want more challenging content. They want characters that offer something new,” he added.

Apoorv Singh Karki, known for comedy web series such as “TVF Aspirants” and “Saas Bahu Achaar Pvt Ltd”, has directed “Bandaa” from a script by Deepak Kingrani.

Asked if it was a conscious decision to break away from his previous work to make his feature directorial debut, Karki said with Varma and Bajpayee on board, it was “a no-brainer” for him to take on this film.

“After ‘Aspirants’, Suparn and Manoj sir had a word with each other regarding me. Then Suparn called me and said Manoj sir is doing the film. I said yes immediately. But after I read the story, my inner voice told me that I have to tell this as a film,” he added.

Narrating relevant issues is “the need of the hour”, said the filmmaker, adding he felt strongly about the cause of minor safety.

“When you feel a lot for a cause… It was easy for me to make a decision. It was not a technical choice for me that how I have previously done shows and how I want to do films going ahead. I did the film because of the cause,” Karki emphasised.

Earlier this month, the makers of “Bandaa” were sent a legal notice by godman Asaram, sentenced to life for sexually exploiting a minor, and the Sant Shri Asaramji Ashram Charitable Trust alleging that the trailer of the film is “highly objectionable and defamatory”.

Asaram has been serving a life sentence in Central Jail Jodhpur since 2018 following his conviction in a case of sexual exploitation of a minor student of his ‘gurukul’.

When asked about the notice, producer Vinod Bhanushali said: “Our legal cell has satisfactorily answered the notice that we received.” The upcoming film is a biopic on P C Solanki, prosecution counsel for the girl, he added.

“According to us, we have told the story of PC Solanki. This is the story about the lawyer who fought this case where an underage girl was mistreated, abused… This is a case whose facts are out there in the public domain. There is a judgment, we are not here to pinpoint on any person,” Bhanushali said.

Karki said he is happy with the way “Bandaa” has shaped up.

“I feel people will like it. All the controversies and questions will be answered once they see the film. People are going to love it. People are going to praise it for the kind of messaging that we want to send with our film,” he added.

Produced by Bhanushali Studios Limited, Zee Studios and Varma, “Bandaa” will start streaming on ZEE5 from May 23. (PTI)

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