”˜Mulk will raise questions on patriotism’ says actress Taapsee Pannu

By Neeru Saluja

Actress Taapsee Pannu is back in the courtroom. But this time she’s not standing in the witness box, instead donning the black coat of a lawyer and fighting a powerful case.

Her upcoming film ”˜Mulk’ directed by Anubhav Sinha tells the story of a Muslim family trying to reclaim it’s lost honour. Releasing on 3 August by Zee Studios, the film also stars Rishi Kapoor and Prateik Babbar in pivotal roles. The talented actress from ”˜Pink’ says the film is not preaching a social message or changing mindsets, but will raise questions.

The title of the film represents ”˜our country’. What aspect of the film ”˜Mulk’ talks about what’s happening in our country?

”˜Mulk’ denotes ”˜country’ but the film raises questions about patriotism, nationalism and issues that are important to our country. It will make people realise about their inner consciousness towards religion and the ideology we have been brought up with since India gained independence. The time has come to question those notions since the dynamics of our country have been changing since the past few years.

How does your role as a lawyer contribute to the plot of the film?

I play the role of a lawyer Aarti Mohammed who lives in London. She is a Hindu who falls in love with a Muslim guy and they get married. She comes to India to meet her in-laws in Benaras where an incident happens and a family member (Prateik Babbar) is accused to be part of a terrorist activity. The whole family is questioned and she fights their case and stands for her family who are secular, innocent and love their country.

This reminds us of your character in ”˜Pink’ where you were part of a court drama. Did you use your experience of working with Amitabh Bachchan from Pink when you entered the courtroom again with ”˜Mulk’?

It is intimidating as my character in ”˜Pink’ gained positive response and it was mainly based in a court room. People will also have expectations as I’m acting as a lawyer but I didn’t copy Amitabh Bachchan, rather took inspiration and gave my best. I have been surrounded by talented actors in this film and I didn’t want to stick out as a sore thumb. Therefore, I have studied the character well and we had a lawyer on the set to keep a check.

How have you grown as an actress with your journey from Pink to Mulk?

Both the films have taken me out of my comfort zone and got something new out of me. As an actor, my consciousness level has changed with ”˜Mulk’. It was an emotional journey and has given me the best dialogues I have read in my career. The feelings for patriotism came from my heart and helped me perform better.

Will the film bring a message for the audience and will it spark a controversy?

The film is not a documentary or a film that preaches a social message. It will rather raise questions. We don’t have a solution to the problems our country is facing. But it’s good to sit together and talk about these issues and not sweep them under the carpet. It may spark a controversy as the subject walks on a thin line. We haven’t said anything against religion in the trailer, but we do want people to stop judging others according to their religion.




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