Col. Surender Singh of the Territorial Army who has been credited for his enormous creative contribution to the film, shares his insights on his experience.
1- How was your experience working on Gadar2?
The experience was great n enriching. I joined this project right from the ideation stage in 2019. Anil Ji had the basic story idea done with the writer. I gave my military input for the writing to begin. When the first draft of the screenplay was done, I rewrote it to make it militarily appear logical. I gave special emphasis on writing military scenes and dialogues. The director n writer was extremely open to my ideas n incorporated them fully. There were occasions when Anil Ji had a creative thought that was not possible militarily, but he insisted. So, I recommended a few settings, which he accepted open-heartedly. I was involved in selecting and training actors, military costumes, and set design and was also present on all filming days. I contributed to the editing as well. As a serving army officer from the Territorial wing, I was able to get all military permissions from the Ministry of Defence on time. Post filming, I facilitated the Ministry of Defence Preview of the film in New Delhi and, subsequently, the No Objection Certificate for the CBFC certification. Anil Ji also requested me to organise a few military activities at different locations as a goodwill gesture to the Indian Army.
2- How challenging was it to balance serious government work with consulting for a massive film and giving consistent creative inputs?
It was challenging. I gave all my leaves of three years (180 days) to this film. There were occasions when we worked on conference calls n follow-ups.
3- Have you consulted for/ contributed to other films before?
I was in the film industry in Mumbai for five years before joining the army wef 1995 to 2000. I had a small production house wherein we made ad films n television projects. After joining the army, I wrote extensively on national security n military history. I also contributed as a military advisor for correcting a film titled Raksha Kavach OM in the year 2022. Presently, I am writing a book on the 1948 India-Pak conflict.
4- What is the most special experience/ memory from Gadar2 that you would like to share?
Filming the climax sequence was fascinating.
5- How did you and the director Mr. Anil Sharma meet, and how was your experience working with him?
I was brought in by Gen Mohinder Singh to meet Mr. Anil Sharma. Anil Ji is extremely talented, and I have an enormous respect for his art.
6- Which areas of the film have you contributed to? Are these contributions in your personal capacity or as a representative/ spokesperson of the Indian army?
I have contributed to every military aspect of the film. I belong to the Territorial Wing of the Indian Army, which gives me the option to associate with private ventures in my personal capacity.
7- Some May call Gadar2 a propaganda-driven film, while others may call it a film brimming with patriotism. What are your thoughts on the same in the current socio-political landscape?
It’s a fictional story with genuine military settings.
8- As an officer in the Indian Army, what is the message you want to give to the nation through this film?
Love transcends borders.
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