Partition: 1947 has released and as is a known fact by now, the film sees a mix of talent from the West as well as the East. With Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, Sarah-Jane Dias, Late Om Puri and Neeraj Kabi amongst others seen in prominent parts in the film, one wonders whether it was indeed an uphill task for director Gurinder Chadha to put together something truly remarkable, given the canvas that the film boasts of.
“What was most remarkable is that everyone felt the responsibility to tell this story with respect and compassion. I always want my actors to show you a real life from their perspective – you have to believe where they are coming from to begin to understand their POV. That is what cinema does so beautifully – it allows you to see the world through another’s eyes, walk in their shoes. Making this film with such an exceptional international cast and crew was an incredible experience,” says the filmmaker who has earned laurels in the past with Bend It Like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice.
It also seems rudimentary for her to put together a stellar cast that not just looked and acted the part but was also daring enough to get it all right without inhibitions.
How much of an effort was that for the Punjabi-Brit filmmaker?
Says Gurinder in a matter of fact tone, “I think it is a very strong ensemble cast with actors from India, UK and US who all come together to be in the place and tell the story of Partition 1947 with tremendous skill and candor. The whole Indian and English cast worked hard because they see this film as part of our shared history, a legacy for the next generations.”
She says on a parting note, “All said and done, casting for me is like fate – whoever gets the part, it was meant to be.”