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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 April 2019

Special screening of Radhika Apte's Bombairiya for Indian judiciary officials

The movie has struggled to secure a release, facing many delays, but it's now gaining high profile interest

Radhika Apte in Bombairiya. Photo: YouTube 
Radhika Apte in Bombairiya. Photo: YouTube 

Two big political films are hitting theatres this week (Uri and The Accidental Prime Minister), but a third movie, Bombairiya, will be centre of attention for certain members of the Indian judiciary.

This film is by Dubai production company Kreo Films FZC, and written and produced by Briton Michael Ward, and while Bombairiya is going to release this weekend to less fanfare, its story has piqued the curiosity of Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, who has arranged for a special screening on Tuesday for a panel of legal professionals. (The Additional Solicitor General is the third ranking lawyer of the government of India.)

Writer Ward confirmed the development when speaking to The National over the phone: "Someone knew someone and that someone knew that the Additional Solicitor General is working on a plan on witness protection. I am not privy to details, and it would be wrong on my part to disclose more, too.

"Also I don't want a spoiler, but there is a part, an integral part, of the story that deals with witness protection in Bombairiya.

"But, yes, Pinky Anand called and asked if a screening could be arranged. So it has been fixed for January 8," he added.

The director of the film is Pia Sukanya, Ward's wife. Bombairiya is a comedic-thriller, with the title role filled by Radhika Apte, who plays a PR professional for a fading film star. The plot revolves around a crazy day for her after her phone, which contains a suspicious video, is stolen.

A tangled mess follows that also involves a politician facing trial in court while his hitman attempts to kill the case witness. In the movie trailer, actress Shilpa Shukla, who plays Deputy Home Minister Irawati, is seen asking: "So should we give more protection to the witness?" [at 1:34 in the clip below].

The release of Bombairiya has been delayed for nearly three years after it went into production in late 2015. Unseasonal rains in early 2016, followed by an ongoing legal dispute with the VFX agency, were the primary reasons for the delay, according to Ward.

Budgetary constraints mean the film is seeing a limited release, which in turn means UAE movie fans will not be able to watch it on the big screen, for now at least, even though it's by a Dubai production company. The film will see Apte in a comical role, having carved her niche in serious films such as Pad Man, and Ghoul and Sacred Games on Netflix.

Also in cinemas this weekend is Uri and The Accidental Prime Minister, which both revolve around the Indian political scene. Uri is about India's 2016 strike on Pakistan in retaliation for the Uri attack, while The Accidental Prime Minister is a biographical film, based on a book about Dr Manmohan Singh (who was Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014).

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Updated: January 6, 2019 05:46 PM

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