True-to-life film re­veals an­other side of Aish­warya

7 Days in Dubai - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Bol­ly­wood su­per­star Aish­warya Rai Bachchan daz­zled in floor-sweep­ing gowns at the 69th Cannes Film Fes­ti­val red car­pet in France this week to pro­mote her new film Sar­b­jit. But in the bi­o­graph­i­cal drama, we see a dif­fer­ent, rawer side of the for­mer beauty queen. The movie tells the story of In­dian farmer Sar­b­jit Singh (Ran­deep Hooda), who was ar­rested by the Pak­istani army and sen­tenced to death for un­know­ingly cross­ing the bor­der. The fam­ily’s 23-year bat­tle for jus­tice is nar­rated through Sar­b­jit’s sis­ter Dal­bir Kaur, por­trayed by Bachchan. Bachchan and co-star Hooda un­der­went dras­tic trans­for­ma­tions for their roles. She was aged up for the role, while Hooda lost 18kg in 28 days. Di­rec­tor Omung Ku­mar says: “There are very few ac­tors who are ma­ture enough to play a 22-year-old and a 60-year-old also. Young ac­tors can be aged but it looks fake. I wanted that mid­dle per­son. “No­body would think of Aish­warya in this role at all. I made Dal­bir my way. All the man­ner­isms of Dal­bir are there: the walk, the talk; but look-wise I’ve made Aish­warya not to look like Aish­warya.” Bachchan jumped on the op­por­tu­nity to take on this role: “I be­lieved in the film from the on­set it­self. Her (Dal­bir’s) spirit is just an incredible divine light, I be­lieve that ex­ists within her, be­cause de­spite such a try­ing sit­u­a­tion she is a pos­i­tive hu­man.” Bachchan de­scribes the in­spir­ing woman: “She isn’t em­bit­tered, she con­tin­ues to work, to help peo­ple. There is a big­ger mes­sage in this and that is about hope and recog­nis­ing the fu­til­ity of di­vi­sion.” Sar­b­jit re­ceived pos­i­tive ini­tial re­views at Cannes and the cast were praised for their mov­ing per­for­mance. Out in UAE cin­e­mas to­mor­row.

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