Naseeruddin Shah lashes out at films like Kerala Story and Gadar 2 for spreading Jingoism

  • September 11, 2023 / 10:00 PM IST

The rise of nationalistic films like Gadar 2, The Kerala Story, and The Kashmir Files worries Naseeruddin Shah, he claims.

When filmmaking has chosen a different path to success, Naseeruddin Shah has always questioned it openly. The actor has received criticism frequently for his contentious remarks about how politics and film can coexist. For his opinions on the government and society in general, he has even at times come under attack. Now the actor has once more voiced his discontent with the success of films like Gadar 2, The Kerala Story, and The Kashmir Files at the box office.

The filmmaking, according to Naseer Sahab, is choosing a different path to success, which is somewhat alarming because the truth is not being accurately depicted. He also cited the filmmakers who were attempting to stand out and present the truth but were completely ignored.

In an emotional interview with Free Press Journal, Naseeruddin Shah spoke at length about the issues with the contemporary filmmaking scene. “Now, more jingoism makes you popular because that’s what has been governing this country,” the actor remarked. It’s not enough to merely love your country; you also need to invent fictitious foes. These individuals are doing something that is really destructive, yet they are unaware of it.

The actor went on to contrast these films with another generation of filmmakers, saying, “In fact, films like Kerala Story and Gadar 2, I haven’t seen them but I know what they’re about, it’s disturbing that films like Kashmir Files are so massively popular whereas films made by Sudhir Mishra, Anubhav Sinha, and Hansal Mehta, who are trying to portray the truth of their times don’t get seen.”

Even Naseeruddin Shah broke his heart when he said that these filmmakers shouldn’t give up. But it’s crucial that these filmmakers maintain their motivation and carry on telling tales, he added. They will be accountable to future generations. People will see Bheed and Gadar 2 100 years from now to compare which best captures the reality of our day since only film is capable of doing so.

It’s challenging to use abstraction to accurately depict life as it is. Regressive is a pretty good word to describe what’s happening, but it’s alarming that filmmakers are being persuaded to make films that glorify the wrong things and denigrate other communities for no apparent reason. Shah emphasised that the regressive nature of Gadar 2 and other films like The Kashmir Files and The Kerala Story is a worrisome trend.

For the uninitiated, “nationalistic” films like The Kashmir Files with Anupam Kher, The Kerala Story with Adah Sharma, and Gadar 2 with Sunny Deol have all become box office successes and performed surprisingly well, demonstrating that audiences enjoyed the films despite the controversy.

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