NEW DELHI: A new Bollywood movie is set to portray India’s dramatic evacuation mission from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
Producers have revealed that the film will show the commitment and patriotism of Indian special forces in rescuing civilians from the Afghan capital.
Since the Taliban swept to power in a lightning offensive on Aug. 15, an overwhelming number of people have tried to flee Afghanistan. The US and allied forces mounted a major two-week effort to ferry foreign nationals and vulnerable Afghans out of the country.
The rapid and chaotic multinational operation airlifted 123,000 people out of the country. India evacuated 1,000 of its diplomatic staff and nationals.
In the film “Garud,” scheduled to be premiered in mid-August 2022, Bollywood producer Ajay Kapoor and actor-director Shubhash Kale will show a fictionalized version of events from the perspective of a Garud Commando Force officer involved in organizing the evacuation.
The Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force, which protects critical security installations and conducts rescue and disaster relief operations, including in UN peacekeeping missions. The unit takes its name from Garuda, a large bird-like deity in Hindu mythology.
Kapoor told Arab News: “I want to show what commitment, what patriotism it takes to do such kind of rescue operations, and what kind of men and machineries are involved in executing such a mission.
“I have been following the developments in Afghanistan for quite some time and the subject is quite bold. The way India managed to bring its people from Afghanistan is commendable.”
He said subject matter related to national issues was of great interest to him. In 2018, he produced “Parmanu: The story of Pokhran” on India’s successful 1998 nuclear test, and his 2019 “Romeo Akbar Walter” release narrates the story of an Indian banker recruited to take part in an intelligence operation in Pakistan.
“I get emotional on the subject of patriotism and such subjects always interest me. I like such subjects,” he added.
Kapoor and Kale have not revealed the size of the flick’s budget, but they pointed out that production costs would be high because of the special effects and locations being used for the movie. The film’s score and theme song “Mera Bharat Hai Mahaan” (“India is Great”) have been composed by Ravi Basrur. The director and cast will be announced next month.
Kale, who wrote the script, told Arab News that it was his “passion project.”
He said: “I have been working on developing a script like this for a long time and I am glad that the film is finally materializing with a brilliant producer like Ajay Kapoor. We are aiming to offer an international look to the film, taking inspiration from real-life events.”
The producers are aiming to shoot a “patriotic” movie.
Kapoor said: “Audience is always inclined toward patriotic films. This has always been there. This was in the past and this will be among our children and also among future generations.”
Film critic Rana Siddiqui said the patriotic genre had often been a big part of Indian cinematography but even more so of late.
“The trend to glorify the government has been there in the past also, but this norm has crossed all limits in the present regime and the film is also not left out. When you make a film on a rescue mission like Afghanistan, no one knows how much is the truth and how much is fiction,” she added.