Emraan Hashmi’s Jannat was 2008’s sleeper hit. Four years later, as makers switched from the backdrop of match-fixing to the illegal arms trade, Emraan and director Kunal Deshmukh planned to go all out in terms of the research involved. They wanted to meet people involved in the business, but the plan fell through.
“We planned to meet people involved in the grey market, but we were told it would be too dangerous to reach them. People who are part of the illegal arms trade work secretively. Not many people have access to them, so a meeting seemed risky,” says Kunal.
As a result, Emraan and Kunal met a few licensed arms dealers in Delhi. “The idea was to understand how the arms trade functions. And we got a lot of information,” says the young director, adding that Emraan also learnt how to fire a gun.
“The research was important because as people who live in the city, we aren’t aware of how such a trade functions and flourishes. For example, I haven’t used a gun in my life and neither had Emraan. So, what goes on in a person’s mind when he buys a gun or makes weapons were factors that we had to understand,” says the director, adding that they had some shocking revelations.
“During the research, we found that manufacture of desi kattas and tamanchas (country-made guns) runs in the family. The forefathers of people making them these days used to supply these weapons to rulers in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. But once kings and kingdoms were abolished, they started making the weapons for individuals,” he explains.