Barely two months into the year and Bollywood already has a blockbuster in Uri: The Surgical Strike - going strong in its fifth week, the military drama has collected Rs 213 crore at the box office. That the film has also won critical acclaim only makes the success sweeter for lead actor Vicky Kaushal.
"Just before the film was to release, Aditya [Dhar, director] and I were discussing how the entire team has given their all - physically, mentally and emotionally - to the project. Though we were content with our efforts, we didn't expect the audience to go bonkers," smiles the actor, talking on the sidelines of the Chandon Party Starters campaign shoot.
A still from Uri
In tracing how the Indian Army conducted the 2016 surgical strikes against Pakistan, the Yami Gautam starrer also inevitably lauded the government for making the definitive move. Considering the film hit theatres only months before the elections, many wondered if the Aditya Dhar-directed venture was a propaganda film. But Kaushal dismisses the notion: "We have made the film as a tribute to the Indian Armed Forces. It's not necessary to view everything through the political lens. Also, if it was a propaganda film, I wouldn't have been a part of it."
The movie has also given the country its latest catchphrase - 'How's the josh?' That the dialogue has been mouthed by several politicos - including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal - has only furthered the belief that the movie is championed by the government. Kaushal asserts that detractors are reading too much into simple gestures.
"Once a film releases, it belongs to the audience - be it the cabinet ministers or the Prime Minister or even sports personalities. So if you have the right to say 'How's the josh?', the same right lies with anybody else. We have zero control over it. We are happy that the emotional value of the film is resonating with everyone."
Also Read: Uri director Aditya Dhar on 'How's the josh?': Didn't expect it to be such a rage
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