A young Kashmiri girl next door, who likes to play with squirrels and nature, is suddenly tasked to spy on Pakistan for India. A role that does not guarantee safety. Set in 1971, during a turbulent time for India and Pakistan, Sehmat (played by Alia Bhatt) is told to sacrifice herself because, as her father puts it, “she’s an Indian first.”
Treading this path of spying and living on the edge, Sehmat gets married to a Pakistani officer (played by Vicky Kaushal). Her life there is far from what she had imagined. Subjected to grueling and some backbreaking tasks, Sehmat learns what it would take to tiptoe the enemy lines, she is aware that lives of thousands of Indians are at stake.
Towards the second half of the trailer, a bomb blast takes place in a centrally located place. She is found inconsolable, crying her heart out. And before you know it, Sehmat goes from the petite young bride to a woman who aims the gun at a possible enemy, reiterating that no one can come between her and the motherland, not even herself.
Based on writer Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat, the film, much like the book, will focus on how Sehmat single-handedly saved the lives of many Indian soldiers through her courage and wit during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. Sikka, a former Indian Navy officer, came across Sehmat’s story (whose name he changed) when he went to Kargil during the 1999 war to write media articles on the Army’s alleged intelligence failure there. The writer, in several interviews in the past, has said that it took him eight years to fictionalise her story and knit everything into a cohesive narrative.
Directed by Meghna Gulzar of Talvar fame, the film has mostly been shot in Patiala and Kashmir. Karan Johar produces the project through his Dharma Productions, and is slated for a May 11 release.
Watch the trailer here: