After Badlapur, Varun Dhawan, Dinesh Vijan and Sriram Raghavan come together to tell the spectacular true story of second lieutenant Arun Kheterpal.
69 years ago on this very same date, a young man was born who went on to write his name in the pages of history. As an ode to the bravery of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, Dinesh Vijan, Sriram Raghavan and Varun Dhawan reunite to tell his tale.
The twenty-one-year-old who showed extreme bravery in the face of fierce and unrelenting attacks by the Pakistani military. Khetarpal was honoured with the Param Vir Chakra, India’s most-prestigious and highest-standard military medal for his courage and gallantry. Varun Dhawan has been selected to play him on screen.
Known for detailing, Sriram has already spent over six months in researching and developing the story.“The courage of 2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal during the 1971 Battle of Basantar is well known. I was a kid during the ’71 war but remember pasting black paper on windows during blackouts. So when Dinoo (producer Dinesh Vijan) asked me to make a film around the subject, I found it daunting initially. Movies set in wartime have always moved me, forced me to reconsider. This is a solid story told over two generations of soldiers. We hope we can do justice to it” says the director of this future Varun Dhawan starrer movie Raghavan.
Varun Dhawan says, “Playing a soldier has always been my dream. After I heard Arun Khetrapal’s story I was honestly shocked that this could actually happen! I understood why Dinoo and Sriram were so passionate about it. And after I met Aruns brother Mukesh Khetarpal I was moved, I too have a brother and I can’t fathom what he must have gone through.”
Varun also said that Arun Khetarpal’s story is one that needs to be told and it is a great responsibility for them to narrate it correctly. He considers this movie to be one of the most important films of his career and is also excited that he is getting to work with Sriram again.
This biopic is more than just a film for Vijan. Known for investing in cinema that usually tells unique tales this biopic is his first. Dinesh says, “Arun Khetarpal was one of Poona Horse’s most celebrated Lieutenants. When Mukesh Khetarpal (brother) narrated his story in Delhi, we were already enamoured by his bravery but what connected me more was Arun’s equation with his father, the bond that one share with their father is usually left unsaid. I lost my father 5 years ago and I miss him every day, with this film I hope to shine some light on the boy who became a man, a reflection of his father. It’s a huge responsibility to make this biopic, we are indebted to the family and to the Poona Horse regiment for allowing us the honour of telling Arun’s story and we hope to make them proud.”
This passion project sure seems to have all the right ingredients and we can’t wait for it to come alive on screen!