Residents of Kota in Rajasthan have taken deep umbrage after the chilling trailer of Rani Mukerji-starrer Mardaani 2 shows a brutal faceless serial rapist on a rampage in the small educational town, where parents from all over North India send their children for coaching in the engineering examinations.
“This is the town of dreams, not nightmares. This is where we send our children to ensure their future.
I was repulsed when I saw Kota being called out for a savage crime in the trailer of Mardaani 2,” says a disturbed and concerned parent of a young boy studying there.
Meanwhile, Yash Raj Films — always known for a deep level of sensitivity towards its audiences’ sentiments — has now decided to omit the name of the town from the film.
Gopi Puthran, the writer-director of Mardaani 2, says, “We are in no way suggesting that such events or incidents happen in Kota and there was no intention to tarnish the reputation of the city. If this has hurt or upset the sentiments of the residents, we are deeply regretful. We realise that since the trailer says it’s 'inspired by true events’ and our film is based in Kota, it could be open to miscommunication. YRF has decided to remove these words from the film to ensure that there is no further room for misinterpretation.”
He adds, “We shot Mardaani 2 extensively in Kota and received only love, warmth and huge cooperation from the people and authorities. This gesture is YRF's mark of respect to Kota and its wonderful people.”
Talking about the sequel to Mardaani, Puthran says the film expresses concern over the barbaric crime. “Mardaani 2 addresses the huge societal issue of rape and the rise of horrific crimes committed by juveniles in India. As a writer, I wanted to bring to light the terrible reality that today’s India and its youth faces,” says Puthran, adding, “I was troubled by the many incidents that took place across our country in the last four years and the complex nature of those crimes left me shocked and perplexed. As a human being, I felt fear after reading about these incidents and wanted to do my bit to make people aware of the threat posed by nameless, faceless, young and underage boys who are resorting to such violence.
Mardaani 2 has been inspired by all such incidents that rocked the country and left us all scarred.”
He is however, quick to reiterate, “At the end of the day, Mardaani 2 is a film and not a documentary and it should be seen as that. Kota has only been used as the setting for the film.”