By: Mohnish Singh
Actor Chinmay Mandlekar delivered a very nuanced performance in Vivek Ranjan’s Agnihotri The Kashmir Files (2022). He played the character of terrorist Farooq Malik Bitta in the blockbuster film and impressed everyone with his riveting act. The actor can be currently seen in Rajkumar Santoshi’s latest directorial Gandhi Godse: Ek Yudh where he plays the role of Nathuram Godse. The film has been at the center of controversy right from the day the makers unveiled its trailer.
A few protestors were even seen at a promotional event for the film. They said that Gandhi Godse: Ek Yudh demeans and undermines the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi who played an important role in the freedom struggle of India while it glorifies the murderer Nathuram Godse and hence they are against the release of the film.
Later, Santoshi wrote a letter to Mumbai’s Special CP Deven Bharti, seeking tight security for himself and his family. Now, Mandlekar has reacted to the ongoing protests against the film and said that people who have not even seen the film are protesting against it just because there are few names in it.
“I have a very humble request to everyone who is protesting that you should watch the film,” the actor said during a recent interview. “The censor board has given it a U certificate without a single cut. People need to trust the censor board, go to the theatres and watch the film. You might like it or not like it, but without watching, just protesting without seeing the film just because there are few names in it makes no sense. The majority of the section of our country are curious to watch this one.”
Mandlekar even opened up about the biggest challenge of playing Nathuram Godse in the film. He said, “The biggest challenge has been to fulfill the expectations of our director, Rajkumar Santoshi because he’s a very hard taskmaster. As far as playing Nathuram Godse, I know that in a large section of society, he is considered a villain. There is also a section of society that kind of supports him. My challenge was to neither put Godse on a pedestal nor to demonise him. I had to portray a historical figure as any normal human being that we know. He was very angry and I had to portray that. Of course, the script also helped me a lot. As far as the research is concerned, a lot is written about Gandhi ji, but very few things are available about Godse. But the speech that he gave in court during his trial is available now. So that speech was a great help because it gave really good insight into what this man was thinking.”
Gandhi Godse: Ek Yudh is currently running in theatres.