Filmmaker Siddharth Anand, the creative force behind the recently released film Fighter, has offered a candid glimpse into his deeply patriotic sentiments and the influences that shaped his latest cinematic venture.
Speaking to Galatta Plus (and as reported by Indian Express) about the movie that stars Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles, and addresses hyper-nationalistic themes, Siddharth shared his fervent patriotism, emphasising that he is “fiercely patriotic.” The director highlighted how the Pulwama attack in 2019 served as a catalyst for Fighter, instilling in him a sense of anger that fueled the narrative.
In a pivotal moment within the narrative of Fighter, the director orchestrates a face-off between the protagonist, portrayed by Hrithik as Patty, and the character Azhar, played by Rishabh Sawhney. This scene serves as a dynamic platform for the hero to articulate his fervent hyper-nationalistic sentiments, marking a noteworthy departure from Siddharth’s previous directorial endeavours, particularly in the aftermath of Pathaan. The director’s candid acknowledgement of this thematic shift adds an intriguing layer to the cinematic landscape of Fighter.
In the interview, the filmmaker opened up about his profound sense of patriotism and the inspirations behind his film Fighter. “I am fiercely patriotic, not really nationalistic maybe but fiercely patriotic,” he shared. Siddharth expressed his emotional connection to iconic war films like Haqeeqat and revealed that he shed tears listening to the songs of Border. He even mused about the possibility of being a soldier in a past life. Talking about Patty’s dialogues, the director said, “Those lines are actually me, I wouldn’t lie. The genesis is that I want to say these things because I actually feel it, in my own way.”
Siddharth, who hails from a lineage of filmmakers like Mukul Anand and Tinnu Anand, shared his love for the dramatic flair of Hindi films, particularly the dialogue-heavy sequences known as “dialogue-baazi.” He emphasised, “Dialogue-baazi is what I love and very rarely do I get an opportunity in my films to do that.” Furthermore, he stated that the lines made sense contextually for Patty. “It’s not like their paycheque is so huge that they are doing it for their lifestyle,” he stated.
The director also shed light on the choice of depicting Pakistan as the adversary in the film, citing the need for a recognisable face for the audience. He expressed his aversion to creating a completely fictionalised portrayal of the Air Force, choosing instead to ground the narrative in reality. “I was certain that I didn’t want to make a fictitious film on the Air Force in a genre that is anyway a little alien to us, so I wanted to ground it,” he said.
Siddharth further revealed that the Pulwama incident served as a catalyst for the film, acknowledging the necessity of fictionalising certain elements while maintaining a connection to real-world events. He added, “Pulwama was an incident that really angered me. It was a movie waiting to happen on what they did. We obviously had to fictionalise a lot of things around it. We had to name the organisation that did it so we have named the organisation, nothing else.”
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