Seeking closure by reliving prison days: Raj Kundra on debut movie ‘UT 69’

New Delhi: Businessman Raj Kundra, who was arrested on the charges of producing pornogrpahic content, is all set for the release of his movie ‘UT 69’. He shared how he wanted to relive the entire experience of his days in prison, adding that he wanted a closure.

The trailer of the movie offers a perspective on Kundra’s life, shedding light on the 63 days he spent at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail while under trial. The film, a witty dark comedy, brilliantly captures the trials, challenges, and unexpected friendships that Raj struck during his time in jail.

Speaking to IANS, Raj opened up on the toll it took on him while shooting the movie, the controversy and his acting debut.

He said: “I had to relive it again and somewhere I wanted to relive it, because I wanted a closure on this, and I was not getting a closure. When I came out, I was disturbed, anxious, I wasn’t feeling good about anything.”

“I was going to write a book and wanted the world to hear what I went through, and director Shahnawaz Ali sir thought that better than hearing what you went through, people should see what you went through. Visually it’s always better. It’s like Instagram versus Twitter. People prefer Instagram because photos and videos sell better I guess,” he said.

He further shared: “And when we made this film, I thought somewhere this chapter will close. It’s not redemption yet until the clean chit comes, but somewhere I feel that with the story coming out, which is not just my story and everyone around me, maybe some good will come out of it, some help will come out of it. I don’t know what will happen, but there’s a lot that can happen.”

How did he adapted the controversy on the screen?

Raj said: “We don’t talk about the controversy. We speak about the time inside Arthur Road jail. From the time I entered the red gate to the time I left —63 days inside, the survival, how we managed in the toughest of circumstances in one of the most crowded jails in the world. That’s the story.”

“We didn’t touch upon the case at all, because the matter is subjudice and it is still in court. There is a legal battle going on. So there is nothing controversial around the case, but there are a lot of interesting, engaging, borderline controversial things that happened inside the jail,” he said.

Talking about his acting debut, Raj said: “I was happy producing behind the camera. I think it is Shahnawaz sir’s conviction. He felt the true story should be told by the person who actually went through it. He said, ‘you have gone through it Raj, you tell the story your way. Acting I will take out of you. It’s you, you don’t have to do makeup, or act like someone, it’s just going to be about you.’”

“I think it is the first time ever a true story is being told by the person with whom it has actually happened. For me I found that interesting. I love challenges, I have been through enough challenges in my life,” he said.

Raj added: “I tell people, forget the case for a minute, put the case aside, go watch it as a piece of content, you will fall in love with the film, it’s so beautiful. When Shilpa saw the film she loved it, AA decided to be the presenters, then it gave us the confidence that a lot of people are getting attached to the film, and they are liking it. Content is king, and we have one hell of a story to tell.”

The flick is slated for a theatrical release on November 3.


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