On the occasion of the 69th birth anniversary of Arun Khetrpal, makers of the film on the life of the youngest Param Vir Chakra recipient announced that actor Varun Dhawan will play the lead in the project. The film will be directed by Sriram Raghavan and Dinesh Vijan is attached to produce. Varun, who has previously collaborated with Sriram on Badlapur, said the biopic is the most important project of his career.
"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 (Vijan) and Sriram were so passionate about it. And after I met Arun's brother Mukesh Khetarpal I was moved, I too have a brother and I can't fathom what he must have gone through.
"This is a story which needs to be told and it's a responsibility for us to tell it correctly. This is the most important film of my career and I'm so excited to start work with Sriram again. I hope all Indians will feel proud once they hear this story," he said in a statement.
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Happy birthday 2/lt #ARUNKHETRAPAL. It’s always been my dream to play a solider of INDIA. This is my most important film . Can’t wait to be directed by the mad genius sriram Raghavan one more time to bring to big screen the life of 2/lt #ARUNKHETARPAL. Cant wait to begin working with dino vision my producer who always has a vision but this time with emmotion. Hope to make you proud #mukeshkhetarpal and #poonahorse. JAI HIND ðŸ‡®ðŸ‡³. Thank you to my fans and hope i don’t let you down.
Sriram has been researching and developing the story since past six month and the director hopes to do justice to Arun's life story.
"The courage of Second Lieutenant 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 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," the filmmaker said.
Vijan added that making this film is a huge responsibility. "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."