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Love Sans Borders

As Mahesh Bhatt's first Punjabi film 'Dushman' readies for release on March 3, the star cast arrives in Chandigarh led by writer-director Shagufta Rafique

You have to give it to Mahesh Bhatt for always following his heart (and speaking his mind too). The acclaimed filmmaker is now ready with his first Punjabi film, ‘Dushman’ that will hit screens this Friday (March 3). Having kept the media and fans well clued in to the making of the film, Bhatt made sure the entire cast and debutant director Shagufta Rafique was in Chandigarh for the premiere. “It’s not that I always wanted to make a regional film but yes as a storyteller I was really excited about this story and wanted to present it,” said Bhatt as he addressed a press conference in the city. He’s always been a strong advocate for fostering warm ties with Pakistan. “As filmmakers we have to bridge the divide. We are all one and need to stop building more walls around us. Wasn’t that Guru Nanak’s teaching as well?” remarked Bhatt.

Love Sans Borders, Lifeinchd
rnPhoto By: Life in Chandigarh

What’s the story? 

Partly based on the real life experiences of writer-director Shagufta Rafique who was once a bar dancer, the film takes a look at Indo-Pak relationship and is the story of two friends from either side of the border who meet on foreign land. Unlike the usual scripts that bring in either a love story or war, ‘Dushman’, as the director points out, is actually about ‘dosti’. “Essentially people on both sides of the border are the same. We speak the same language, our likes and dislikes are the same but we have created so many differences. We behave like enemies. I feel a story of friendship needed to be told and I am lucky that I got the chance,” said Rafique who has penned scripts and screenplay for Hindi films like Jism 2, Raaz, Jannat 2 and Aashiqui 2. Working in Punjabi came easy to the director. “My mother is from Gujranwala and I understand Punjabi very well. Since I don’t speak fluently, I got all the script translated into Punjabi,” informed Rafique.

Love Sans Borders, Lifeinchd
rnPhoto By: Life in Chandigarh
rn 

Who’s in it?

‘Dushman’, produced by Vinay Bhardwaj, stars actor Kartar Cheema (he plays the Pakistani character), singer-actor Jashan Singh, Sakshi Gulati and Bollywood’s orginal ‘bad man’ – Gulshan Grover. Not surprisingly, Grover is playing the baddie in this film too. “I think the iconic villain, the bad guy is fast disappearing in films. Today, most heroes are doing grey shades,” remarked Grover who looked quite dapper in his twirled up moustache.

Love Sans Borders, Lifeinchd
rnPhoto By: Life in Chandigarh

 

Love Sans Borders, Lifeinchd
rnPhoto By: Life in Chandigarh

To Pakistan, with love

The film that has been shot mostly in Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bangkok will also be released in Pakistan. “It’s not often you see a Pakistani director make a film keeping India in mind. But we have shown a side to Pakistan that is based on love and friendship,” summed up Bhatt. 

Love Sans Borders, Lifeinchd
rnPhoto By: Life in Chandigarh

 

 

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