After 'Rang De Basanti', 'Halla Bol' gives war cry against injustice

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (UNI) Close on heels of 'Taare Zameen Par' stirring the conscience of parents and teachers over ''carefree childhood lost'', its time for another Bollywood venture, after 'Rang De Basanti' in 2006, to appeal to the collective conscience of society by calling upon every individual to raise voice against injustice to bring about a change in the prevailing system.

Releasing in cinema halls across the world today is 'Halla Bol', a "war cry" for individuals to speak up against the injustice and corruption happening around them to bring about a just and equitable order in society.

Featuring versatile actor Ajay Devgan, the charming Vidya Balan and veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor in key roles, 'Halla Bol' is the latest in the line of films by Director Raj Kumar Santoshi mirroring the happenings of society, after 'Ghayal', 'Ghatak', 'Damini' and 'Lajja'.

'Halla Bol' deals with the inner conflict of an individual in society over whether to listen to the voice of his conscience and speak up against the prevailing injustice around him or remain ensconced in his own comfortable and cocooned world.

''The basic essence of 'Halla Bol', the literal meaning of which is "war cry", is that if injustice is being done to anyone or anywhere, then one needs to raise his voice against it in unison.

Today, it is happening to others. Tomorrow it could happen to you,'' Director of the film Rajkumar Santoshi said on a visit to the capital in connection with the red carpet premiere of the film on Wednesday night.

Like many of his earlier films, 'Halla Bol' also takes a leaf out of real life. Infact, with 'Halla Bol', Santoshi once again treads an unusual path as he tells the hard hitting story of a reel hero fighting the conflicting demons of stardom and conscience to emerge as a real hero.

Loosely inspired by the infamous Jessica Lal murder case, 'Halla Bol' is the story of a big star Sameer Khan, whose meteoric rise from a small town boy to a big star chages him as a person, making him lose his very identity.

He forgets his real self; corruption takes over his entire system, alienating him from all his loved ones including his wife Sneha.

Then, a shocking incident at a party changes everything, shattering Sameer's complacent world. He is caught between his conscience on one side and his stardom and success on the other.

'Halla Bol' is about how he is able to discard his corrupt image and emerge as a true life hero.

Says Santoshi,''the incident in the film is just a mean to put across the message of the need to raise one's voice against injustice in the system instead of watching things as a mute spectator.

Unfortunately, today what is happening is that every individual is protesting in small groups of his own when his own rights are trampled upon. However, when it comes to infringement of someone else's rights, he is seen to look the other way or watch from the sidelines. The result is little or no impact. Hence, there is an urgent need for people to raise their voice against injustice happening anywhere.'' For, it is when society raises its voice against injustice in unison, like in the Jessica Lal case that an impact is generated and change happens, Santoshi said.

In this context, he also points to the sacking of controversial umpire Steve Bucknor and reconsideration by the ICC of the charges of racism against Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh.

''Harbhajan Singh has been taken back into the series because the public protested and challenged the decision," said Santoshi.

Says the film's lead actor Ajay Devgan,''Halla Bol is not about corruption. Rather, it is an individual's fight with himself to overcome the demons within himself to emerge as a true life hero.'' Adds the film's female lead Vidya Balan,''a film like 'Halla Bol' is highly relevant in today's times when the public is being increasingly mobilised through television channels in cases like the Jessica Lal murder case (where the media pressure and focus led to the courts ordering reopening of the case).

The good thing is that in today's society, we are witnessing how public is being mobilised through TV channels and its serials, which has led to several cases being solved. I think 'Halla Bol' is a great step in this direction.'' Vidya said 'Halla Bol', a word whose literal connotation was 'war cry' was one often used to awaken the sleeping conscience of an individual. ''Hopefully, 'Halla bol' will inspire people to take a stand,'' she added.

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