I had apprehensions when director Raj Kumar Gupta approached me with the idea but after reading the script, I was cool," says Sabrina Lall, younger sister of the late model Jessica Lall. "I knew Gupta would do a good job because the script was so clear and tight. My family and I had been warned that we had opened doors to a lot of trouble by giving Raj Kumar the NOC. I was anxious because the film was going to be commercial and we didn’t know how they’d make it entertaining without sacrificing on facts."
Sabrina first met Vidya Balan in Delhi at the trailer launch of No One Killed Jessica. Subsequently, the two met on a couple of other occasions, including a special screening of the film for the Lall family. "Vidya is a sweet girl and a really powerful actor. I’m proud of her. She portrayed the character so well. Not that she’s completely modelled herself on me but she has kept the basic traits and added her own bits to it," says Sabrina, adding that ever since the film’s release, her Facebook account is full of messages supporting her sister and her.
"Most messages have come from strangers. Some of them have come from young journalists and writers who didn’t know the facts until they saw the film. It’s touching that my sister has become immortal in public memory through this movie," she adds.
Critics felt that the film overdosed on the media’s role in the Jessica Lall-Manu Sharma case. Without agreeing or disagreeing, Sabrina says, "It was Raj Kumar’s perspective of the case. The media had supported me in a big way and I can’t thank them enough. If the critics felt what they did, I think they should allow a director his creative space and liberties. He at least kept the facts intact."
Sabrina was on the jury panel of CID Gallantry Awards organised by Sony Entertainment. While sifting through entries, did she find another Sabrina? “Nope, and thank God for that,” she smiles with moist eyes. “Crimes haven’t stopped in our country but I wish no one goes through what my family and I did. The problem with our system is that witnesses in cases say something to the cops and something diametrically opposite in the court. If that’s sorted out, most issues will automatically be resolved.”