Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur announce their next project with director Raja Krishna Menon and Ishaan Khatter.
The movie, starring Ishaan Khatter, is a unique action-packed war film with a celebrated army tank at its crux.
In this heroic tank battle film, Ishaan Khatter plays war veteran Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta of the 45th Cavalry tank squadron.
Along with his siblings, he fought on the eastern front during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. It was with this battle, which took place in Garibpur, that India for the first time infiltrated enemy land, thus leading to the liberation of Bangladesh.
Pippa: a movie about the PT-76
The movie is titled Pippa. It’s written by Ravinder Randhawa, Tanmay Mohan and Raja Krishna Menon. It is based on the book The Burning Chaffees, written by the Brigadier himself. The film’s unique title highlights the magnificent Russian amphibious war tank called the PT-76. It was popularly and lovingly known as “Pippa”, an empty ghee da dabba that smoothly floats on water. Although Ishaan Khatter has been established as the lead, we are curious to know who will play his siblings; Mehta’s elder brother and younger sister play key roles in the movie.
The film shows Balram and his squadron fighting the grueling 48-hour-long Battle of Garibpur. This influenced the outcome of the war in India’s favor. The film also portrays the coming-of-age of a young Mehta and India. They both stepped up to prove themselves in a war for the liberation of another country. Thus, the battle paved the path for India’s triumph as Captain Mehta led his troops to victory.
Outline of the plot:
In addition to the war-front bravado, thrilling military camaraderie and majestic action sequences, this story also explores the poignancy of a family displaced during wartime amidst the backdrop of the heart-wrenching refugee crisis that still plagues our world.
Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur shares:
“Although the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 is widely documented, one of its less-known chapters is the covert operation that became the Battle of Garibpur. It played a significant part in India’s eventual victory. This is the war that is often heralded as the only ‘just war’ in history; it was fought to save human lives, and also to free a nation. Brigadier Mehta’s fascinating account resonated with us deeply. We instinctively knew that Ishaan Khatter would be ideal to play him. Ishaan Khatter’s raw, youthful energy perfectly complements Brigadier Mehta’s valour and bravado. His acting chops paired with Raja’s sensitivity towards the subject, knowledge of every facet of this war and panache for large-scale action dramas, makes this all the more compelling a story for us to take to the screen!”
Ishaan Khatter shares:
“I’m exhilarated to be a part of such an important film. Getting a chance to play the role of the suave tank commander Captain Balram Mehta is a true privilege. I’m also honored by the faith shown in me by Ronnie sir, Siddharth sir, and Raja sir, and I’m looking forward to the exciting experience of Pippa.”
Producer Ronnie Screwvala shares:
The producer of the hit war movie Uri: The Surgical Strike, also comments, “It’s not just about a great patriotic battle. The story of the 45th Squadron led by Captain Mehta is one generation must hear. This film is a visual celebration of India’s valor and also the sharp strategy shown by us in 1971 along with our alliance with Bangladesh. It is all seen through the eyes of the Mehta family and their stirring internal and external conflicts”
Director Raja Krishna Menon shares:
“Pippa is a war film. However, it also has an emotional core celebrating the triumph of love and humanity. The never-seen-before tank war action sounded extremely thrilling to me as a filmmaker. Yet, when Siddharth Roy Kapur shared the story, I really connected with Brigadier Mehta’s patriotism and heroism. I’m very happy that Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth have shown tremendous belief in my vision. I can think of no one better to do justice to the role than the terrifically talented Ishaan Khatter. This is truly going to be a special one!”
Pippa, produced by RSVP and Roy Kapur Films, will hit theatres late next year.