His last movie, Mee Sindhutai Sapkal (2010), bagged four National Awards and unprecedented international acclaim. During a screening at the London Film Festival, director Ananth Mahadevan was asked about his next project. He admitted that he was toying with the idea of dramatising the true story of Gour Hari Das, who fought for four years to free the country from the British rule and 32 years in liberated India to prove he’d done so for a freedom fighter’s certificate.
“To my surprise, every hand in the theatre went up as the all- European audience urged me to make the film so they wanted to know what had happened to the country they’d left behind,” recalls Ananth. Tomorrow, at the Mee Sindhutai Sapkal celebration party, the first look of Gour Hari Dastaan, a Kafkaesque black comedy featuring Vinay Pathak, will be unveiled.
The real Gour Hari Das, a Kandivali resident who is almost 80 years old, will be present to introduce the Hindi film that will go on the floors by the end of the year and is targetting a premiere at the Venice Film Festival next June.
Commenting on Vinay, Ananth points out that he didn’t want a star whose image would overpower the character: “Gour Hari Das is a vulnerable common man who was at loggerheads with the system. I wanted an actor who’d capture the struggle of a freedom fighter, who was pushed to the limit and at one point, even admits that he was better off in British times. Vinay, unfortunately, has been slotted as a comic actor, but in my film he’ll have you laughing at life’s ironies at one moment, and gasping over the unfairness of in the next.”