Courtesy : Varun Dhawan and Sriram Raghavan
From impressing the audiences with his comic timings, exceptional dance moves to his charming smile, Varun Dhawan has always managed to impress the audience. Currently, busy shooting for his father David Dhawan’s Coolie No. 1 remake, which also stars Sara Ali Khan, the actor is all ready to collaborate with his Badlapur director Sriram Raghavan for a biopic on a 21-year-old army officer.
Produced by Dinesh Vijan, the film is based on a 21-year-old officer, Arun Khetarpal, who showed courage when he stood up to unrelenting attacks by the Pakistani army during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. He was honoured with the Param Vir Chakra for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime.
Taking to his official social media handle, Varun wrote, “Happy birthday 2/lt #ARUNKHETRAPAL. It’s always been my dream to play a solider of INDIA. This is my most important film. Can’t wait to be directed by the mad genius Sriram Raghavan one more time to bring to the big screen the life of 2/lt #ARUNKHETARPAL. Can’t wait to begin working with dino vision my producer who always has a vision but this time with emotion. Hope to make you proud #mukeshkhetarpal and #poonahorses. JAI HIND. Thank you to my fans and hope I don’t let you down.”
In a recent interview with Mumbai Mirror, the 32-year-old actor revealed that it was his dream to play a soldier on the silver screen. Sharing that the movie is really important for his career, Varun shared, “When I heard Arun Khetarpal’s story I was awed that this could have actually happened! I understood then why Dinoo (Dinesh Vijan) and Sriram are so passionate about it. When I met Arun’s brother Mukesh, I was moved. I too have a brother and I can’t understand what he must have gone through.”
Confirming the news to Mumbai Mirror, producer Dinesh Vijan shared, "Arun Khetarpal was one of Poona Horse’s most celebrated Lieutenants. When Mukesh (his brother) narrated his story in Delhi, we were already enamoured by his bravery but what connected me more was Arun’s equation with his father. The bond that one share with one’s father is usually left unexplored. I lost my father five years ago and I miss him every day. With this film, I hope to shed some light on the boy who became a man, a reflection of his father. It’s a huge responsibility to make this biopic. We are indebted to the family and to the Poona Horse regiment for allowing us the honour of telling Arun’s story. We hope to make them proud."
Even Sriram Raghavan revealed that he spent months to research and develop the story. While talking about the same to the leading daily, the director said, “The courage of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal during the 1971 Battle of Basantar is well known. I was a kid during the ’71 war but I remember pasting black paper on windows during blackouts. When Dinoo approached me to make a film on the subject, I found it daunting initially. But movies set in wartime have always moved me and this made me reconsider my decision. This is a solid story told over two generations of soldiers and we hope we can do justice to it.”
Stay tuned for more updates!