Banita Sandhu on filming the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Sardar Udham: "It was traumatic, I was just sobbing"- EXCLUSIVE
Banita Sandhu on Sardar Udham
Sardar Udham has proved to be one of those films that brought tears to our eyes. As Indians, we were moved to see how Shoojit Sircar filmed the entire Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Vicky Kaushal's performance, and especially the line 'Koi Zinda Hai' has been ringing in our ears. Apart from
Vicky Kaushal, Banita Sandhu was also a part of the scene. Her character Reshma was shown to be one of the protestors who was mercilessly gunned down without warning. In an exclusive chat with us, we asked her about filming the scene.
Talking about filming the scene, Banita said, "See (takes a long pause), it was a lot (to take). And you know, the team did such a good job of making everything feel so real, it was almost jarring because it felt like we were there. There were 1000s of actors on set at time and our costume designer performed such a good job in dressing everyone, the production design. We're filming it and everyone was running... we had the safety and I had to keep reminding myself and we're just doing this for camera like we're in a safe space. If anything is too much I can just see like stop cut, Shoojit sir (Sircar, director) say cut and everything stops and we're back to normal life. But it would hit me that people actually lived through that and lost their lives to that. Even rewatching it now when it came out like I was sobbing again, and I was, you know, I saw how it was made, I saw that scene and I'm proud of it, and it was just, it's, it was a lot.
She added, "I remember after shooting that scene in particular I came home to the hotel and I called my mom, who was in UK at the time and I just was sobbing, crying, especially as a Punjabi. As an actor, it was very rewarding, but as a Punjabi, it was really traumatic and horrifying and haunting to kind of lived through that because I had heard stories of my late grandmother and the atrocities she faced in Punjab during that time in history. So it kind of made me feel really connected with her but it also felt like I was experiencing some kind of generational trauma, but I'm just really proud that this story is being told and I got to be a part of it."
We can only imagine how daunting it was to shoot a sequence like that. Banita played the character of Reshma, Udham Singh's love interest in the film.