Dampened cultural relationships between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2016 Uri attacks played havoc with Aditya Dhar's dream project, yet the writer-lyricist found in the events, an opportunity.
Uri actor Vicky Kaushal tells mid-day that Dhar's inability to take forward a film that was to feature Pak actor Fawad Khan led to the creation of this offering instead.
"Uri was made due to the actual attacks," Kaushal says of the writer's directorial debut, adding, "Aditya was to direct Karan Johar's Raat Baaki. However, that did not happen due to the attacks, which was followed by the ban on Pakistani artistes. Aditya wanted to know what had transpired so that he could decipher the reason behind the ban.
Eventually, the subject interested him so much that he penned a script on it."
His work was so fascinating, says Kaushal, that both, producer Ronnie Screwvala and he decided to come aboard. The actor plays the role of a commander-in-chief, who leads the operation after four heavily armed militants enter the town of Uri and attack an Indian army camp on September 18, 2016.
Dhar confirms the news to mid-day, stating, "I am a Kashmiri, one who has heard about terrorism since childhood. I was keen to get into the armed forces, so, for me, everything was falling in place with this film."
For Dhar, establishing himself as director has been a path riddled with obstacles. After being roped in to direct a film for Vishal Bhardwaj in 2010, a Johar film in 2012, and Raat Baaki in 2015 — none of which materialised — Dhar's film is finally seeing the light of day. Counting his blessings for finding support from producers, he also has the Army to thank for approving his film. "They liked it, and suggested changes too."