Bollywood actor and author Ashutosh Rana found the idea of making ‘Bheed’ in black and white quite apt and said that one cannot show a tragedy in colour. He related the entire idea with the Big Bang theory.
He shared his perspective on the lockdown and who turned out to be the real heroes during the times of adversity.
In conversation with IANS during the promotion of ‘Bheed’, he said: “If you learn about the Big Bang, you will understand that there was first darkness. Then, an explosion happened and light started to spread. So, the story of creation and destruction that happens in our lives begins with ‘shvet’ and ‘shyam’ (white and black). When we cross this catharsis of black and white, our world finally becomes a rainbow. The colours come and the indigo is formed.”
Anubhav Sinha’s ‘Bheed’ is a portrayal of the realistic scenario of various issues and problems faced by the people during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. It focusses on social disparity and shows how the situation was similar to the Partition in 1947. The migrant workers had gone through a lot during this period. From facing issues related to food, shelter, healthcare, fear of getting infected or spreading the infection, loss of wages, concerns about the family, anxiety, and fear, and so on. They were forced to travel for miles even though many couldn’t manage to get the proper mode of transportation.
Ashutosh shared how he felt when he listened to the script for the first time: “I felt that this was about a tragedy that affected not just India, but the entire world. This human race that dreams of controlling nature and the whole universe was forced to stop moving by this invisible Coronavirus. This was such a huge thing. We can deal with problems that we can see but we cannot fix those problems that cannot be seen.”
“This film does not show the story of just one person. It is a film about an event. It is a film about a disaster and the conflict between disaster and faith. Whenever such a calamity happens, our faith is also shaken. At the same time, our faith also wakes up when something like this happens. This is everyone’s story,” he added.
Ashutosh recalled the time the lockdown was announced and said that he felt as if nature wants to purify itself, it asks everyone to not interfere and to stay inside their homes.
“At that time, I thought that we were connected with the world but not with ourselves. We were connected with the market but not with our families. I saw this calamity as a blessing in disguise as our humanity was beginning to fall asleep. This calamity made people think about caring about the self and not the world, connecting with our families and not just the market, and also awakening our sleeping humanity,” he shared.
And he continued about dealing with the illness at that time: “When I was hospitalised during the second wave, I realised that this was something that limited you to your own self. This can shake one’s faith, but it can also be necessary for waking one’s faith up,” he said.
Talking about his character in the movie and the kind of dilemma that he faced which many went through, especially the police officials during the lockdown period, he shared: “This character of inspector Yadav is based in the area in which police barricades were set up during the lockdown. It comes under his jurisdiction. He wants to obey the law and he also wants to respect human emotions. But if he tries to respect them, there is a risk that the law would be violated. He is stuck in a conflict between punishment and human sensibilities. He knows that if people are hit with sticks, then he would be sacrificing his human emotions.”
In the movie, Rajkummar Rao, who plays the cop, expresses his desire to be a ‘hero’ and Ashutosh explains the idea of being a ‘hero’ in the crowd.
“A hero is someone who doesn’t work for his own benefit and helps others. He is philanthropic, not selfish. He wants to move forward with everyone else instead of going alone. We always teach our children and loved ones that they should not be selfish. But as soon as they begin to grow, we restrict them by asking them why they want to be a hero or why they want to do what they are doing. They say that you are willing to ignore the law just for fame,” he explained.
He further said that the most challenging aspect of this film was that it was shot during the pandemic.
“All the scenes were challenging. The biggest thing was that this was shot during the pandemic. We had to follow all the protocols like wearing a mask when you were not on a scene. You have to meet 50-100 people even when you don’t want to. There were many tests as well. In spite of this, everything was rugged and real. So, I felt that every line and every scene was challenging.”
However, he asserted that things become easier when there are talented co-actors and said: “It was amazing. When you have brilliant actors such as Rajkumar Rao, Pankaj Kapur, Bhumi Pednekar, Aditya Shrivastav, and Dia Mirza, your life becomes much easier because they are all skilled artists.”