The Bhatts are set to make a comedy on demonetisation as per a report that appeared in Scroll. The film will be directed by Vishesh Bhatt. The makers released the press note on the second anniversary of demonetisation, also the release date for a film coincidentally and appropriately titled Thugs of Hindostan.
The scheme, championed by PM Narendra Modi, aimed to flush out black money from Indian markets by discontinuing all currency of 500 and 1000 denominations. As pointed out by many retrospective studies, particularly one conducted by the RBI, stated that 99% of India’s black money, was re-injected back into circulation. More than 100 lives were lost in the chaos, that followed the announcement on November 8, 2016.
There’s definite potential for a biting satire, like we saw in this sketch by comedy group, AIB. But does Vishesh Bhatt, director of Murder 3 and writer of Jannat, have the deftness to successfully land a film on an issue as complex as demonetisation in an entertaining manner? Also, what about the Bhatts’ infamous reputation to build ‘franchises’ purely on explicit sex, violins and Jeet Ganguly’s music? We should be concerned, very concerned.
Given Bollywood’s stellar interpretation of real-life accounts (epitomised by this year’s films like Sanju, Gold, Soorma and several other films), we really should be paying close attention to this one. The film could either water down the impact of the economic urgency that the country was thrust in, after PM Modi’s speech on the evening of November 8, 2016. Or it could sing a paean to the government and how it did the best it could, like what Hirani did with Sanjay Dutt.
Handling political satire requires the sharp wit of Vishal Bhardwaj, something the Bhatts aren’t usually known for. Will they be up to the task? Who knows.