After having made three-and-a-half hour to four-hour films such as Swades, Lagaan, Jodha Akbar and What’s Your Raashee?, Oscar-nominated director Ashutosh Gowariker says he found it difficult to make a ‘shorter’ film. “Khele Hum Jee Jaan Se is my shortest film. It’s less than three hours long,” says Gowariker.Was co-producer PVR pictures instrumental in having Gowariker stick to a shorter reel? "It’s difficult to say short films have a better shot at the box office. 3 Idiots was two hours and thirty minutes long and with credits, it extended by 15 more minutes. Reliance didn’t have trouble marketing that film. The trade understands it’s important to back a good story. Even Hollywood flicks like Titanic and Avatar were longer than usual," says Kamal Gyanchandani, president, PVR pictures.
The film based on Malini Chatterjee’s novel, Do and Die, is about the 1930 Chittagong uprising against the British rule in India. "Little is known about the uprising and it has remained a line of reference in history books," says Gowariker.
In spite of having dealt with historical subjects in the past, Gowariker says, "Converting a book into a movie is always difficult, as a book is very detailed. I have tried to do the best research, stay clear of controversies and stick to facts about the event. But, even history books have different takes on the same event. I have tried to avoid slip-ups," says Gowariker.
The film portrays actors Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Sikander Kher as revolutionaries ready to do anything for the sake of freedom and will open in cinemas on December 3.