The khakhi wardi (uniform) of the Indian police and army has adorned many Bollywood heroes in the past. But rarely do we see the Indian Air Force (IAF) take center stage. When actor Shahid Kapoor slipped into a crisp white shirt and light blue jacket for his role as an Air Force pilot in father Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut, Mausam, the people he was least expecting appreciation from were the students at the National Defense Academy (NDA).
But over the last few weeks, the makers of Mausam claim that have been inundated with over 1,000 letters from NDA
students thanking the young actor for making the IAF and its uniform “look cool”. “It’s an overwhelming response that we’ve received.
They’re appreciating his character, look and have given his uniform, moustache and aviator glares a special mention,” says the official spokesperson for the film. This will also be the first time that Shahid has sported a moustache on screen. Director Kapur too is glad. “It’s good to see audiences are liking his look inthe film,” he says.
In the recent past, Salman Khan and Ajay Devgn have played police officers in the hit films Dabangg and Singham respectively, and Aamir Khan too is shooting for Reema Kagti’s next, where he will seen playing a cop. Forthcoming film Force starring John Abraham too revolves around a police officer.
Was making Shahid an Air Force pilot a deliberate move away from what has been portrayed time and again? “Police and army uniforms have been depicted in many films, but Shahid as a pilot was in sync with the script, which we took forward to the big screen” explains the spokesperson, adding, “After the response, we think it (the Air Force) will come to the forefront and people will take notice.” The film is set to release on September 16.
Working around IAF objections: Shahid
Meanwhile, Shahid says the film is yet to procure a certificate from the censor board, as the Indian Air Force (IAF) has raised objections to an aerial action sequence, adding that the issue is being worked out so that the movie releases as scheduled.
“The film is releasing on September 16. Indian Air Force has been extremely supportive and kind throughout the shooting of the film. Whatever be the outcome, I think they would be comfortable with it. We will work around it,” says Shahid.
The IAF has demanded alterations in a sequence involving six fighter planes, one among which is “flown” by Shahid, who plays a fighter pilot in his father Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut. According to media reports, IAF has held back its No Objection Certificate (NOC) until the producers make the changes they have sought, and unless the IAF grants the film an NOC, the censor board will not accept the movie for review.