“I don’t need anyone’s permission to make this film,” says Vijay Shekhar Gupta, producer of the film based on Sushant Singh Rajput’s death

A film inspired by the life and the mysterious death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput is on the cards and is being bankrolled by first time producer Vijay Singh Gupta

By Anannya Srusti

Edited by Ruchika Shah

Vijay Shekhar Gupta

Movies reflect reality and vice-versa. 

While the uproar surrounding the suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput is still blazing, maiden producer Vijay Shekhar Gupta has taken charge of backing a film on the life and death of the late actor. 

Titled, ‘Suicide or Murder: A Star Was Lost’, this film stars Rajput’s lookalike and Tik Tok sensation, Sachin Tiwari. A poster of the same was recently released which has sparked several discussions. 

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found hanging in his Bandra apartment on 14 June, 2020. Since then severe allegations have surfaced involving Bollywood bigwigs which has exposed the dark side of the industry that is allegedly ruled by nepotism. 

In the wake of this, maiden producer Vijay Shekhar Gupta has taken it upon himself to break this vicious cycle of star kids favouritism, irrespective of them deserving it or not. 

In an interview with Beyond Bollywood, Gupta has shared what urged him to back this film and why it is relevant at a time like this. Excerpts as follows .

Usually, we congratulate one on a film announcement, but sadly, I won’t be able to do that here. Given the tragedy, most people will be asking you why are you making this film?

This movie is not about Sushant Singh Rajput alone. It is about all those people who have fallen prey to nepotism or the ‘Bollywood Mafia’. It’s about all of them. This movie is inspired from Divya Bharti, Jiah Khan, Sushant Singh and a few others like them in this film industry who nobody knew about much.  In 2013 when Jiah Khan committed suicide, which in my opinion was a murder,  I thought of making a film on it. Now after Sushant’s murder, I am sure that now is the time to make that film. Such a film could expose and bring an end to the ‘Bollywood Mafia’ and nepotism that prevails here. I want more people from small towns to work in Bollywood and don’t want them to be considered as ‘outsiders’ and face all this.

It’s been only a month since Sushant Singh Rajput passed away and police investigation is still on-going. Don’t you think it’s a little early to presume that the actor was depressed due to alleged nepotism?

Like I said, this film is not the story of Sushant Singh Rajput. It’s about every person who has fallen prey to the ‘Bollywood Mafia’ and nepotism.”

Still, don’t you think it would have been wise to first wait for the probe to conclude rather than go by any assumption?

As I had mentioned previously, the idea to make such a film was first conceived when Jiah Khan was murdered.

Have you/will you be taking an NOC [No Objection Certificate] from Sushant’s family?

I am not making a biopic on Sushant Singh Rajput so what do I need an NOC for?

But his story is still a part of the film.

So now should I take an NOC from Sushant Singh Rajput’s family or Jiah Khan’s family? Or from the families of all those people who were prey to nepotism in Bollywood?

What if tomorrow one of the families decides to file a case against you and prevents the film from being made?

Sushant Singh Rajput (1986-2020)

I am repeating myself,  this film is not anyone’s biopic. I don’t need anyone’s permission and I have already consulted my legal team about the same. This is an inspired film. I would have needed permission if I was making a biopic on someone. Bollywood Mafia and Bollywood nepotism, for me, is a subject and a big issue which the ‘outsiders’ face.”

You keep using the word ‘inspired’ here and in an earlier interview to you have coined the same. Do you want to elaborate on it?  

I can be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi. Must I take permission from their families as well?

Don’t you think tragedy is something that should be mourned instead of being inspired by?

“I am raising my voice for the ‘outsiders’ who come to work in Bollywood so that their upcoming generations won’t have to face such an issue. Right now the era in Bollywood is run by the star kids and I want to break it via this film.

We have often seen in the past that such announcements often lead to criticism. How do you counter criticism?

When you do good work, there will be people who will love you as well as those who will hate you. I am saying this to all my haters that I love them. Those haters would be the first ones to watch my film and not my admirers. I love all of them. It’s human nature like for instance in a family of four when you do something good, two would support you and the rest two would criticise.”

Do you think Sachin Tiwari can pull off such a role?

Absolutely. We have already started grooming the actor. His dance, acting and fight classes have commenced.

He further added, “I would like to make a  sincere request for a CBI probe in Sushant Singh Rajput’s case as soon as possible. Whosoever is involved in his murder should be jailed so that justice is prevailed.”

The producer, through his interview, has made it quite apparent that this film is not entirely based on the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. It rather reflects the struggles of several ‘outsiders’ who came to act in Bollywood but had to suffer a tragic end.

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