Sidharth Malhotra reacts to comparisons between Alia Bhatt's Raazi and his spy film Mission Majnu: 'I think it is fair'
Calling Alia Bhatt-starrer Raazi 'a good film', Sidharth Malhotra welcomed comparisons between his latest movie Mission Majnu and Alia's 2018 spy thriller. Sidharth also responded to accusations that Mission Majnu perpetuates stereotypes about Pakistanis.
Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna discussed their film Mission Majnu in a new interview. The film stars Sidharth as Tariq, an Indian spy in Pakistan, and Rashmika in the role of Nasreen, a Pakistani. Sidharth also spoke about the comparison of their movie with Alia Bhatt's Raazi (2018), and if their film perpetuates the stereotypes of Pakistanis in Hindi films. Mission Majnu was released on January 20 on Netflix. Also read: Mission Majnu movie review
Mission Majnu, which is set in the 1970s, is 'inspired by real events' as per the makers. It shows Sidharth Malhotra as a RAW agent, who is tasked to complete India's 'deadliest covert operation' in Pakistan. After the film's trailer was released earlier this year, a section of people drew its comparisons with Raazi. Set in 1971, the Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal-starrer was based on the life of a 20-year-old Kashmiri spy named Sehmat, who was married to a Pakistani Army officer (Vicky) to relay back any information she could to the Indian Army.
In a new interview, Sidharth addressed Mission Majnu and Raazi's comparison. "It is never a bad thing if people are trying to find a reference point for a film. It (Raazi) is a good film. It doesn't feel like it (the comparison) is such an alarming thing. Yes, the elements on the outer periphery seeing the trailer might look similar. It is in the same decade (1970s), has similar elements, but I think the experience is completely different. It is only fair to speak to people after January 20 (Mission Majnu's release date), once they see the film... I think it is fair (the comparison), and we will have a better conversation when the film is out and we could discuss it. Comparison with a good film is always welcome, it is not a bad thing at all," Sidharth Malhotra told Film Companion.
When asked if his character in the film helps perpetuate stereotypes of Pakistanis in Hindi films, the actor said, "We have consciously made an effort in the writing that it is never to take on a particular community. I recently did a film called Shershaah, which is based on India and Pakistan, and the battle that we had, which was documented. Once you see the film, consciously we never really concentrated, barring maybe four scenes on the other side (Pakistan), it was purely about this side (India) and this man's journey, (Army captain) captain Vikram Batra sacrificing his life... So there is the same conscious effort (with Mission Majnu), there is no personal animosity with anyone, these are just documented historical points, which we will never get complete facts of, so for that you need to establish possibly certain characters in an x amount of time. And the shots they are referring to (from the trailer) are meant to be tongue-and-cheek in the film. So, I think it will be a fair dialogue once everyone sees the film... it is never about a community or taking a dig, which digresses from the film… a religion or a community is never an issue in the film."
Mission Majnu is directed by Shantanu Bagchi and co-produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Amar Butala and Garima Mehta. Sidharth had earlier shared some glimpses of his look in Mission Majnu. “Ek jaanbaaz agent ki ansuni kahaani (the unsung story of a daring agent),” he captioned one poster in December 2022, while for another, he had written, “Kya aap iss Majnu se milne ke liye taiyaar hain (are you ready to meet this Majnu)?”