Here’s what Omung Kumar says about Richa Chadha’s ‘misused’ comment on Sarbjit
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Here’s what Omung Kumar says about Richa Chadha’s ‘misused’ comment on Sarbjit

Bollywood actor Richa Chadha recently said that she felt ‘misused’ in the 2016 film Sarbjit, based on a true story. The film’s director Omung Kumar responds that Richa was told that her ‘eyes will speak’ and that her many nominations validated her role.

bollywood Updated: May 23, 2018 18:10 IST
Yashika Mathur
Yashika Mathur
Hindustan Times
Omung Kumar,Richa Chadha,Sarbjit
Filmmaker Omung Kumar’s last directorial venture was Bhoomi. He won a National Award in 2015 for the boxing biopic Mary Kom.(Photo: Yogen Shah)

Bollywood actor Richa Chadha recently said that she felt “misused” in the acclaimed 2016 film Sarbjit, and that she “regretted” taking that role, which was of Sukhpreet, the wife of Sarbjit (played by Randeep Hooda), the Indian man captured in Pakistan and killed in jail. The film’s story was told from the perspective of his sister Dalbir Kaur (played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), who spent more than two decades trying to free him.

Responding to Richa’s recent comments, the film’s director Omung Kumar tells us that the actor knew about the length and depth of Sukhpreet’s character from the very beginning of casting talks.

“Richa was given the part that was narrated to her and everything was the same. It’s just blown out of proportion,” says Omung Kumar. “I still have the written script with me. While narrating [the script] also, I told her, ‘You don’t have many dialogues, but your eyes will speak. The last [part] of the whole film is on you.’ The role was justified, and while narrating, [Richa] was told that she had [only] three-four dialogues, but her eyes would speak, and that was exactly what was given to her,” adds the filmmaker. This week, Sarbjit clocks two years since its release.

Omung Kumar, who won a National Film Award in 2015 for the boxing biopic Mary Kom (2014), says that Richa’s performance in Sarbjit left everyone on the sets spellbound. He adds that the subsequent award nominations validated the weight of the role and the actor’s work.

Actor Richa Chadha in a still from the film Sarbjit (2016). She played the role of Sarbjit’s wife Sukhpreet, and had some very emotionally charged scenes.

“I’m very proud of what she has done in the film,” says Omung Kumar. “She got nominated everywhere. If there was a Best Supporting Actor category [at any award event], she got nominated for that. And I think she has performed fabulously in the film. In fact, while judging a show, I spoke of that last scene, where she gets the remains of Sarbjit in her hands, and how she enacted those emotions. Everyone on the floor was crying. Everyone wondered how she could do such a difficult scene,” he says.

While praising Richa, the filmmaker says that it pains him to think that Randeep Hooda wasn’t nominated for an award for Sarbjit. The actor not only lost 18kg to play Sarbjit, but also made a makeshift prison in his house to understand the emotions of a man locked in a cell.

“You don’t know how much it hurts us,” says Omung Kumar. “This performance was Randeep’s lifetime’s best, and it hurts me to think that he wasn’t nominated. People nominated Richa and Aishwarya, so Randeep had to be a part of nominations... but he was not, and I’m very vocal about it, because I think it’s not fair.”

He adds, “Nobody talked about Randeep’s performance. He was excellent [with] what he gave; no other actor could have given what he did. After the movie released, they did not give him [any nominations].”

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First Published: May 23, 2018 17:53 IST