'Sooryavanshi': Rohit Shetty addresses 'good Muslim, bad Muslim' portrayal
Rohit Shetty's Sooryavanshi deserves credit for successfully managing to bring the audience to the theaters again. Even going with ratings, it has become the filmmaker's third highest-rated movie on IMDb. But the Akshay Kumar-starrer was not devoid of controversies. Many objected to the portrayal of Muslims in the film as decidedly "good" and "bad." Now, Shetty has a response to such complaints. Read on.
The problem certain viewers had with the actioner was with the "negative" portrayal of Muslims. In the film, the antagonists were Muslims, but there were "good" Muslim characters, too, supposedly for contrast. "After watching it, it's impossible not to think of Nazi Germany, where Hitler cultivated a film industry that paid obeisance to him and made propaganda films against Jews," Journalist Rana Ayyub opined.
Shetty was directly asked about this in a recent interview. "In the film, we have seen how Muslims have been portrayed in a good way as well as a bad way. But it's seen to be problematic," a Quint journalist posed. Shetty wasn't pleased with the question, asking why other antagonists in his cop universe, portrayed as Hindus before, were not considered problematic.
Mentioning that they do not think of the caste identity of characters while assigning villain roles, the Simmba helmer asked, "If there is a terrorist who is from Pakistan, what caste will he be?" "When our conscious is clear, and we did not think that way, why are people talking about it? (sic)" A short video clip of this interview is now going viral.
Twitter was visibly divided on the issue. While some fans appeared hurt at the portrayal, others thanked the makers for showing Love Jihad in the movie. One user pointed out that the dialogues were written by Muslims, to which another user noted, "#Sooryavanshi's writers being Muslim doesn't justify the Islamophobia in the movie." While the debate is on, which side do you support?
You can make your judgment after watching the movie. Here's the plot: Kumar plays Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Veer Sooryavanshi who is tasked with stopping terrorists from planning a bomb blast mission. Apart from hardcore action, there's a lot of patriotic elements involved.