Radhika Apte‘s A Call To Spy, a historical drama about three women who work as spies during World War II, will release on Amazon Prime Video in India on December 11. The film (starring Radhika Apte, Stana Katic and Sarah Megan Thomas) released in theatres in October in the UK and US. Apte has said she is looking forward to a positive response from Indian fans.
Directed by Lydia Deal Pilcher and written and produced by Sarah Megan Thomas, A Call To Spy is based on true events and real life interviews about a spy agency that helped to undermine the Nazi regime in France, according to an Amazon Prime Video press release on Wednesday. Apte plays a Muslim pacifist named Noor Inayat Khan, who is recruited along with Virginia Hall (Thomas), an ambitious American woman with a wooden leg. Vera Atkins (Katic) plays the spymistress who recruits them for a spy agency formed at the beginning of the second World War, named the Special Operations Executive (SOE).
Popularly known as Winston Churchill’s secret army, the SOE’s mission was to “conduct sabotage and build a resistance,” and set up spy networks to explode the Nazi supply chain, according to the press release. The women who worked here were called “Churchill’s wonder women” by The Irish Times, and together “help[ed] to undermine the Nazi regime in France.”
The character of Virginia Hall is based on a woman who worked for British intelligence during WWII and was the first woman field agent to have been sent to France. She was called the most dangerous of all Allied spies by a Nazi leader, according to the press release.
Speaking to the BBC, the director said that although the film has stayed true to the basic facts of what happened, the relationship between the women had been tweaked in the script to make it easier to show Noor Inayat Khan and Virginia Hall in the same time and space. Another change was that although Vera knew Virginia, she did not recruit her in real life.
Radhika Apte said in the press release, “Since the movie has already premiered globally, I have been waiting for the moment where Indian audiences get the chance to watch this thrilling spy drama. I am hoping that they too will shower the same love and appreciation that we received from other parts of the world.”
“A Call to Spy is a fascinating story of female war-time agents, something which audiences are yet to explore/witness in prominence,” said Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head of Content at Amazon Prime Video, India.
A Call To Spy had its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2019 and its USA premiere in the 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January 2020. Producer and director Thomas won the Anti-Defamation League Stand Up Award at the latter. The film also bagged the Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Award for the Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature, and Thomas won the Audience Award for the producer, at the Whistler Film Festival 2019.
A Call To Spy released in theatres in the UK on October 23 and in the USA on October 2, 2020.