By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Movie Moghul J. P. Dutta, whose last film Umrao Jaan was released in 2006, is all set to direct 3 back-to-back war films, all biopics on Paramvir Chakra winning war heroes .
The first war epic Border 2 will be located in the 1962 Indo-China war and would tell the story of Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan who led a platoon against the Chinese aggressors.
Border 3 would be located in the 1965 Indo-Pak war and would focus on the valorous efforts of Abdul Hamid who went down fighting the enemy soldiers .
Border 4 would focus on second-lieutenant Arun Khetarpal who died fighting during the 1971 Bangladesh war.
J P Dutta who has just returned from an extensive recce of the border areas where the three films would be shot , says he was deeply moved and impressed by the courage shown by the three soldier.
Says JP, “I wanted to make war films on the three major battles that India fought in 1962, 1965 and 1971. But I wanted to root these wars in specific heroes’ lives. I chose the three Paramvir Chakra winners each from the three wars.”
The casting of the three heroes is now on.
Says the director, “During my recce I was amazed at how well Border is remembered to this day even though it came 16 years ago.I met soldiers and civilians who had seen it over and over again. They all wanted to know if I had more to say on the war front.”
JP has been writing the three war sagas for the last 6 years. “It’s not easy to get details on the lives of these soldiers. We know how bravely they fought and that they won the Paramvir Chakras. But beyond that all the biographical details had to be obtained from scratch. Permissions from the relevant departments of the Defence ministry also took time. But now everything is in place.”
JP is now zeroing in on the 3 actors who would play the war heroes in the 3 Border sequels.
“I’ve been away from the camera for long. Now it’s time to shoot three back-to-back films,” says the director whose desert epics Ghulami,Batwara and Refugee occupy a pride of place with his war epics Border and LOC Kargil .