Bollywood’s latest historical drama Sardar Udham, based on the life of Indian revolutionary Udham Singh, has been two decades in the making, its director said on Thursday.
“Sardar Udham to me is not just a film, it is a dream come true. It took years of in-depth research to unearth and share with the world the valiant story of a martyr who sacrificed his life to avenge India’s most dreadful tragedy,” said acclaimed filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, known for hits such as Vicky Donor (2012) and Piku (2015).
Sircar, who launched the trailer along with the film’s lead Vicky Kaushal in Mumbai, said he first thought of making a film about Singh during a trip to Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar while still in college.
Jalianwala Bagh is the site of a 1919 massacre where hundreds of unarmed Indian protestors were brutally shot at and killed by the British Army. Many historians consider the incident as one of the turning points in India’s freedom struggle.
Kaushal plays Singh, who assassinated Michael O'Dwyer, the lieutenant-governor of Punjab at the time of the massacre, in London in 1940.
“The story of Sardar Udham Singh is one that enthralled and inspired me,” said award-winning actor Kaushal. "It represents the strength, pain, passion, extraordinary courage and sacrifice, and many such values that I have tried to do justice through my character in the film.
“The role called for a lot of physical, and even more mental preparation to get into Udham Singh’s shoes and bring to life the story of a man whose heroism and grit stand unmatched.”
The film is to be released on Amazon Prime Video, and director Sircar said he hopes to inspire a new generation of Indians and tell them of the sacrifices their forefathers have made for their freedom.
“My aim was to make a film that familiarises the viewers with Udham Singh’s valour and inspires them,” he said. “This film is my ode to his lionhearted spirit, his fearlessness and sacrifice in the fight for the country’s independence.”
Sushant Sreeram, the director of marketing at Amazon Prime Video India, is confident the story will strike a chord with international audiences too.
“We’re showing this across 240 countries and territories and I believe we have all the ingredients that make it a global story,” he said. “It’s the kind of story that lives through time and great stories of courage and valour have no borders.”
'Sardar Udham' will be out on Amazon Prime Video on Thursday, October 16