It takes courage to back a film of this kind: Mahesh Manjrekar on ‘Godse’

People do not know much about Godse other than he’s the man who fired at Gandhi, said Manjrekar, while producer Sandeep Singh pointed out this is an 'untold tale' which deserves to be presented to cinemagoers

A biopic on Nathuram Godse to be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. Image: Twitter

On Mahatma Gandhi’s 152nd birth anniversary, Sandeep Singh, who had earlier produced a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has announced a film on the controversial Nathuram Godse, the assassin of India’s most iconic leader.

The film, to be titled ‘Godse,’ will be directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, who had made Hindi films such as the Sanjay Dutt film, ‘Vaastav’, the relationship drama, ‘Astitva’, and as an actor essayed the role of gangster Javed in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.

Presently, the biopic is at the scripting stage and will go on the floors by the second half of 2022. A poster that accompanied the announcement read, “Janamdin ki hardik shubhkaamnaaye ‘Bapu’… Aapka, Nathuram Godse” (Happy birthday Mahatma Gandhi… Yours truly Nathuram Godse).

Nathuram Godse

According to the press release, Legend Global Studio, owned by Sandeep Singh, and ThinkInk Picturez, owned by Raaj Shaandilyaa, will jointly produce the biopic.

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In the press release, Manjrekar said that the story of Nathuram Godse has always been close to his heart. “It takes a lot of courage to back a film of this nature. I always believe in hard-hitting subjects and uncompromised storytelling and this one fits the bill. People do not know much about Godse other than he’s the man who fired at Gandhi. While telling his story, we neither want to patronise nor want to speak against anyone,” he said, adding that they will leave it to the audience to judge who is right or wrong.

Meanwhile, Sandeep Singh said that the Nathuram Godse’s story is the one which he wanted to tell ever since he had made his first film. He also added that Mahesh, Raaj and himself want to bring out the ‘factual story’. “This is an untold tale that deserves to be presented to the cinemagoers. There are various versions of the stories about Godse and Gandhiji”, he added.

Mentioning that there has been a renewed interest to know Godse, Raaj Shaandilyaa said, “We are living in times where freedom of expression and different viewpoints and opinions are encouraged. Hence, we feel this is the right time to bring a film on Nathuram Godse.”

Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a member of Hindu Mahasabha and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, on January 13, 1948, in Delhi. He was executed on November 15, 1949. In recent years, extremist Hindu organisations have tried to resurrect the Hindutva advocate as a “true nationalist.” Some BJP leaders have also lauded Godse publicly.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra minister, Jitendra Awhad slammed Manjrekar on Twitter, questioning his ‘contribution to Indian Cinema. “Who is Mahesh Manjrekar … wat is his contribution to Indian Cinema….to seek attention such dramas are needed,” he wrote.

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