By now it’s a known fact that Kaagaz, which arrives on ZEE5 tomorrow, and also some select theatres in UP, is the story of Laal Bihari Mritak who, after being declared dead in the government papers, had to struggle for 18 years to get this corrected through government channels. Now Satish Kaushik has narrated this real life story in the film Kaagaz with Pankaj Tripathi playing the central protagonist. The filmmaker had heard this story in 2003 and has waited for 18 years to bring it on screen.
“When I got to know about this common man who had to struggle so much to reinstate his status as being alive and fight for his own identity, I found it quite quirky. I also found it sad that he was dead on paper but then he took it in his stride for 18 long years and fought with the government to get back his life,” reveals Satish Kaushik, who pronto decided to make a film on this subject.
Unfortunately, back then at the turn of the millennium, such films were not really considered feasible for a cinematic outing and were tagged as art films.
“True”, he says, “At that time people didn’t make such films. Then Paan Singh Tomar and Mary Com came and started changing the way such stories were looked. I was anyways fascinated for long with this story and started work on it. In 2017, I cracked it and got the script in place. I was very happy with what my writers got me. I was back to my roots in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron space. Kaagaz is in a serious zone but has been narrated as a black comedy.”
For the filmmaker, it is a departure from the hits that he has given in the past, namely Tere Naam, Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain and Hamaara Dil Aapke Paas Hai.
“I have made many movies in the past and they have been across different genres. However, the story of Kaagaz is something that haunted me for long. I used to keep talking about it so much that even my wife told me to just go ahead and make it as I was so much into it,” laughs Satish Kaushik, “In a way, this is poetic justice as well as just like Laal Bihari Mritak who had to wait for 18 years to get validation about his identity, even for me it has been a similar struggle of 18 years to actually make the film.”
He is happy with the fact that the trailer has got a good response and the film is being much awaited by the viewers.
“I am glad, since audiences have also evolved over a period of time. Today different kind of films are being made. Kaagaz has been a passion project for me and I am glad it is reaching out to the audiences now,” smiles Satish Kaushik before signing off.