I knew I wanted to be a part of this film...twenty minutes into the narration - Mouni Roy on RAW!

With the kind of immense fan following and popularity Mouni Roy gained through television, one would have thought that movies may not be an aspiration. But the transition Mouni Roy has made into films is impressive, to say the least. With Gold and Akshay Kumar, she made an impact, and now with RAW (Romeo Akbar Walter) with John Abraham and Jackie Shroff, Mouni Roy delves into the lives of those who are nameless, who represent their country, and do not receive any recognition in return.

An intriguing project as soon as it was announced, RAW. caught my attention because of the kind of journey it would show the characters on…but characters based on real life heroes who are never recognized for any heroism.

When I got on the phone with Mouni Roy, the first question I had for her was when and how she decided she wanted to be a part of this film. She said that she knew she wanted to be a part of the film shortly into the narration: “I would want to do this film and be a part of this project. I knew it twenty minutes into the narration that I would want to be part of such a relevant film. Yes, I waited until I read the full script and then said yes. The filmmakers also thought I would suit the part of the girl that they wanted to cast me for.”

A film that delves into the lives of people we never know about, who serve the country, is bound to stir up some emotions. As a view, nothing is more moving than a film like Border. When I asked Mouni what kind of impact, personal or professional, a film like R.A.W. left on her, she answered, “I don’t think it has impacted my social life but it has definitely impacted my thinking. It does evoke a certain feeling or emotion. We are all patriotic people, I would like to believe, and when you are a part of the project, you are just trying to understand all of the characters and what they all went through. When you read the research – it is a very well researched movie – our director has done a lot of work…we had to put in time and effort in reading the research and what kind of work went on and what the story is about and what we are trying to make.”

But what about the actual people – I ask her about the psyche of the characters and whether what the real life individuals went through left her with any impressions, she said, “Yes, when you are making the film, then you kind of realize, and kind of understand these characters’ journeys and what they must be feeling or what they were going through in situations like that. The film definitely shows you the relevance of those people, the unnamed individuals, the nameless, as you said – the people who sacrificed everything for their country, without wanting anything in return or gaining anything from it.”

Mouni Roy plays John Abraham’s love interest in the film, and there isn’t much you can make out until you watch the actual film, but I asked her about her character in the film and how she managed the subtleties of her character. Mouni responded, “the understanding of a girl like that or a person like that is the biggest challenge. As a person, I am a talkative, spontaneous person. I don’t think too much before I say something or I speak to someone or I reply to you. You know sometimes, you learn something from your role, and sometimes you unlearn. This movie was more about unlearning than learning for me. You had to completely change…like you said, I had to become completely subtle and I just couldn’t be me, I had to become the character I was playing. I think for this film, the more I unlearned, the bigger the challenge it was, and the better I became. It was a process. It was a little difficult, but it was also a little liberating.”

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