Daddy juggles his duties


In the bustling film landscape of Bollywood, actor Vikrant Massey has made headlines not just for his cinematic prowess but also for his recent venture into parenthood. Earlier in the year, fans of Massey learned that he would be leading the cast in the highly anticipated political thriller “The Sabarmati Report,” a project that would require dedication and immersion into a significant historical incident — the burning of the Sabarmati Express in 2002. Now, after a brief hiatus from the set to embrace the joys of fatherhood, the celebrated actor has returned to the film’s production with newfound zeal.

Massey’s paternity leave began in early February, coinciding with the birth of his child with wife Sheetal Thakur. This period marked a special time for Massey, allowing him the invaluable opportunity to be present during the first days of his baby boy’s life. As the world evolves and the norms around paternity responsibilities shift, the choice of Massey to prioritize family is both applauded and respected. He left the bustling set at Madh Island, which under director Ranjan Chandel and producer Ektaa R Kapoor, had been transformed as a fabric of the intricate narrative woven by the film.

“The Sabarmati Report,” set against the backdrop of one of the concerning chapters in Gujarat’s history, delves into the tragic event of February 27, 2002, where 59 Hindu pilgrims perished in a fire aboard the Sabarmati Express near the Godhra railway station. The catastrophe was a precursor to some of the most grievous communal riots the state has witnessed. In the film, Massey alongside Raashii Khanna, portrays a journalist navigating the complex layers of this historic episode. Their characters are embroiled in unraveling the truths behind the inferno that set off a series of unsettling communal tensions.

During his absence, the crew did not let the momentum of production wane. Director Chandel along with Director of Photography Amlendu Choudhury managed to work around Massey’s temporary departure by focusing on scenes that centered around co-star Raashii Khanna, Ridhi Dogra, and the wider cast. This adjustment underscores the entertainment industry’s gradual yet commendable shift towards accommodating the personal milestones of its actors, while not compromising on the progress of production.

The film, which has been in the making since December 2023, is nearing completion with rigorous shooting schedules set in and around the artfully recreated Godhra railway station by art director Rajat Poddarr’s team. The transformative set mirrors the societal and emotional landscapes the film is set to explore.

A source close to the production has revealed that if all goes as intended, Chandel aims to conclude filming “The Sabarmati Report” within the next week. This is an ambitious goal, given the approaching deadline, as the squad aims for a release date of May 3. Post-production efforts such as editing have already commenced, racing against time to stitch together the myriad of scenes into a cohesive and impactful narrative.

The film promises to be a journey through time, spanning over a decade and highlighting pivotal moments from 2002, 2007, and 2012, that formed the socio-political fabric of India. The narrative promises to be a gripping study of the mechanisms of justice, journalistic integrity, and the search for truth in an often turbid political climate.

As the film industry and audiences alike eagerly anticipate the premiere of “The Sabarmati Report,” the return of Vikrant Massey to set is a testament to a progressive shift towards a more inclusive and human approach to filmmaking, one that acknowledges and respects the multifaceted lives of those who bring stories to life on screen.

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