‘The Narmada Story’ director cast real cop to ‘address details missing in masala films’

Mumbai, June 5 (IANS) Filmmaker Zaigham Imam, who is all set for his real-life-inspired crime drama film ‘The Narmada Story’ has opened up on casting real-life IPS officer Simala Prasad, sharing how the character wasn’t typical, but it required authenticity.

The director, known for his work ‘Nakkash’ and ‘Alif’, shared that casting a real police officer seemed perfect for making a different film.

On casting the officer of 2010 batch IPS, Simala Prasad, Zaigham said: “It was pure luck. We didn’t plan it this way. Initially, we considered many names and even conducted screen tests. When IPS Simala Prasad’s name came up, we had to think deeply because the script demanded a special kind of seriousness. Our character wasn’t typical; it required authenticity.”

“Casting a real police officer seemed perfect for making a different film. The team believed that a real officer could address many small details usually missing in typical Mumbai masala films. One of the biggest reasons for casting IPS Simala Prasad was her behaviour– she is humble and eager to learn. There were no creative differences. We just cast her,” he shared.

Giving more insights about the film, Zaigham said that he has always been interested in policing, especially crime policing.

“It’s a completely new genre for me, but my experience as a journalist allowed me to see the police department up close. This film departs from typical cop dramas, aiming for a raw, truthful portrayal of police life– the daily struggles, family dynamics, and the reality behind the badge,” he said.

The director concluded: “Our extensive research involved real-life incidents, and the film will showcase the lives of policemen in small-town colonies. We chose Narmadapuram in Madhya Pradesh for shooting because it perfectly captured the story’s essence. This film is the culmination of in-depth research, location scouting, and a desire to tell a different kind of police story.”

Shot in Madhya Pradesh, ‘The Narmada Story’ also stars Raghubir Yadav, Mukesh Tiwari, Anjali Patil, Zarina Wahab, and Ashwini Kalsekar in pivotal roles.

Meanwhile, IPS Simala has been part of Zaigham’s project ‘Nakkash’, and ‘Alif’.

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