Huma Qureshi is not disconcerted by the ‘strong reactions’ to Partition: 1947

Mumbai:Actor Huma Qureshi is not disconcerted by the “strong reactions” to Partition: 1947, saying the film intends to unite people and not divide them.

“Partition is a very sensitive subject. People will have strong reactions to it. It’s a film about peace, about humanity.

It’s intended to unite people rather than divide. Some people want to say something… that’s really their choice,” she told the media here on Wednesday in response to the criticism it has garnered.

The film, released as “Viceroy’s House” outside India earlier this year, tells the story of India’s partition. It stars Qureshi, Manish Dayal, late Om Puri, Denzil Smith, Huge Bonneville and Gillian Anderson among others.

Of all the criticisms levelled at the film, one of the strongest has come from Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto, granddaughter of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and niece of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

In a review in The Guardian, Bhutto had slammed the film for belittling leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah and painting Muslims in a bad picture.

Talking about director Gurinder Chadha in an interview Huma said, “She (Gurinder) is a very strong personality. I like working with such people. They push you to your limit. They push you to excel… To do better,” Huma said here on Wednesday.

Recounting one instance during dubbing, Huma said the fun part of the creative process lay in the give-and-take relationship between the actor and director.

“When we were dubbing for the film, I wanted to pronounce ‘Gandhi’ the way British pronounce it, but she said ‘absolutely not’. She said that my character Aalia will say Gandhiji and say it the way it has to be said,” she recalled.

The film is slated to release in India on August 18.