Actor Vicky Kaushal says it would be unfair to call Raazi a film based on the 1971 war between India and Pakistan.
“It is much deeper than that. It is about an individual relationship. It is also about an era when there was tension between the two countries and during that time a Kashmiri woman married a Pakistani major,” Kaushal said. “[It is about] how they make choices at the crossroads of duties and emotions, which will not only affect their lives but also the future of their respective countries.”
Raazi is the story of Sehmat, played by Alia Bhatt, who crossed the border in 1971 as an Indian spy after getting married to a Pakistani military officer Iqbal (Kaushal) to extract classified information.
The 29-year-old actor says the thriller, directed by Meghna Gulzar, does not glorify or demonise either of the countries.
“It is not a hero-villain story. It is not about my country is good and yours is evil. Both countries are doing their jobs. They [the men in uniform] know they belong to this country or another one. They are supposed to perform their duty — that is how they are trained,” Kaushal said.
“I wasn’t worried that I am playing a Pakistani, so it should be shown in a certain light. I think the story does the work,” he added.
Kaushal, who has been paired opposite Bhatt for the first time, says he has been an admirer of her work.
“Alia is one of the most amazing actors we have today. She is a spontaneous, organic and a versatile performer. As an actor, I felt good and motivated working with her,” he said.
The story is based on Harinder Sikka’s book Calling Sehmat and Kaushal says the director just gave him the gist of the story and instructed him not to read the novel.
“Meghna said the script is a part of the book and not the entire book. The book is widespread and there are lot of other things that are going on. It is still the same story but it is just a part of it... My source for all kinds of research was Meghna and the script,” he said.
Raazi opens in the UAE on May 10.