Varun Tej Says Operation Valentine Does Not Have Jingoism Like Fighter: We Haven't Shown Any Country In Bad Light | EXCLUSIVE
Varun Tej is gearing up for the release of Operation Valentine, co-starring Manushi Chhillar. Directed by Shakti Pratap Singh Hada, the action thriller is based on the deadly Pulwama attack in 2019, a theme similar to Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone's Fighter. In an exclusive conversation with Zoom, Varun spoke about the comparisons between the two films, emphasising that Operation Valentine focuses on IAF [Indian Air Force] officers and how they prepare themselves for battles.
Varun Tej on how Operation Valentine is different from Fighter
Talking about how Operation Valentine takes a different approach than the Siddharth Anand directorial, Varun told Rudrani Chattoraj, "It was halfway through the shoot that we got to know that multiple projects were being made (on the same subject). From the beginning, our idea was to take a very realistic approach. Other than the fact that we are basing it on a true event, the idea was to tap into the personal spaces of the IAF. It is not just about the war situation, it is about the pilots, their families, about what they go through and about how their mental state is. We tried to tap into this very personal zone. It is not just about them sitting in the cockpit, locking in on their targets and fire, it is about what it takes to be there. We have tapped into the emotional angle also."
On being asked if there was any sort of pressure since Fighter also has a similar theme, Varun said, "We knew from the beginning that we were apart (from Fighter). They took a different route and we took a different approach. It is our interpretation of what happened in 2019. There is this element of surprise when you are the first one to make a film in this genre (aerial action). But you cannot only run behind that aspect. You should be sure about the script and the story you are making. Look it is a welcome change that people are making films on aerial action and the Air Force such as Fighter and Tejas. That gave us confidence and we did not take pressure. We never compared ourselves to others."
Speaking about whether Fighter being called jingoistic and anti-Pakistan sparked a conversation with the Operation Valentine team, Varun shared, "The discussion came up but we squashed it immediately because we did not take that route. I haven't seen Fighter so I don't know what the discussion was exactly about. But with our film, we were very sure because we did not take that approach. If we are basing it on a true event, we know who was responsible for it. However, it was not to show an entire country in a bad light but to show a few people who were behind the incident that happened in 2019. You cannot blame an entire country."
Operation Valentine is set to hit theatres on February 16.