Remember a film called Sonia; Jagmohan Mundhra’s much-hyped project on the life of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi? Well now, he claims that the film, which has been stuck for five years after the political party issued him a legal notice, has cleared “at least one hurdle” as the “Congress party people are now content” with the script.
“All the apprehensions about my intent, among the Congress party people, have been cleared. Those who were earlier opposing my film on Ms Gandhi are excited about it now. At least the party people have no objections to the film any longer as I have dispelled their pre-conceived notions and doubts,” says Mundhra.
Due to this, the Provoked director “feels more confident about taking his film on the floors soon”. “They felt my film carried a political agenda earlier, but now, they know that it has nothing to do with politics. In fact, they have told Ms Gandhi in front of me: ‘Madam, hamare saare doubts clear ho gaye hai. Ye film to banni chahiye (Our doubts have been cleared. This film should be made).” Now, Mundhra is looking forward to Gandhi’s reaction. “Even if she can’t say ‘yes’ to the project, I hope she doesn’t say ‘no’,” he laughs. “I understand that she, at such a high position, can’t come out and endorse it.”
For the lead role, Italian actor Monica Bellucci is still his first preference. He says: “Monica was always clear that she will play the older Sonia Gandhi. So, once Ms Gandhi gives a green signal, I plan to approach her again because she still fits the role perfectly. But I don’t know about her engagements right now.”
Over the past few years, Mundhra has constantly been in touch with Congress party people like Vipul Maheshwari and others. For the uninitiated, the legal notice to Mundhra was issued through Maheshwari’s legal firm, Maheshwari and Co. “My friends from the Congress call me and meet up whenever they are in London. And when I am in Delhi, I meet them,” he says. More than the politics, Mundhra’s film will account Ms Gandhi’s life from when she was 18, till her rise as the top profile leader of the Congress. It will also showcase her relationship with her husband, late Rajiv Gandhi. “And how a meeting between her and Rajiv Gandhi at a Greek restaurant changed the fate of a nation,” he says.