Is Shah Rukh Khan’s Movie Dunki Based on a True Story?

Shah Rukh Khan’s latest cinematic offering, “Dunki,” based on the illegal immigration technique called “donkey flight,” has captured hearts and imaginations, leaving audiences curious about its origins.

Apart from Shah Rukh Khan, the film boasts a stellar ensemble cast, including Boman Irani, Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, Vikram Kochhar, and Anil Grover. Presented by GO Studios, Red Chillies Entertainment, and Rajkumar Hirani Films, and produced by Rajkumar Hirani and Gauri Khan, “Dunki” centers around a group of friends who use a backdoor method, specifically donkey flights, to relocate to another country and then struggle to return home.

The movie was officially announced in April 2022. Principal photography began the same month and took place intermittently in multiple legs.

Dunki was released theatrically worldwide on December 21, 2023. At the 69th Filmfare Awards, the film earned nine nominations, with Kaushal winning Best Supporting Actor. Is it based on a true story? Let’s explore.

Is Dunki Based on a True Story?

Shah Rukh Khan's latest film is based on real events. In the video, director Rajkumar Hirani explained why they made the film and how he came up with the idea. It also included Shah Rukh Khan displaying a photograph of a house with an airplane placed on top of it.Is Dunki Based on a True Story?

Rajkumar Hirani elaborated on the photo, saying, “Actually, yeh ek ghar hai Jalandhar mein, Jalandhar ke aas pass.” Jaha yeh ghar aap dekh rahe hai, uske upar, itna bada jahaj cement ka bana hua hai. Aisa ek ghar nehi hai; aisa kai ghar hai, jaha chhato pe jahaj lage hote. (The house is in Jalandhar, and the plane is real. There are other houses like it in Jalandhar. So I was rather surprised by it. I wanted to know why it was like this.”

He said, “Woha culture hai ki jin gharo ke bacche yeh ghar ka koi ek family member videsh pohoch jay, London, Canada, America jaha pohoch jay, toh wo ghar ke upar chhat pe ek jahaj laga deta hai. (When a family member travels overseas, it is customary in Jalandhar to cement an aeroplane on top of their house). He also showed that the cemented aeroplane figure has water tanks.

Rajkumar Hirani found it humorous at first, but after some investigation, he learned about the cultural implications of moving abroad and how international laws now prevent families from doing so. He also stated that people assume that living overseas is promising, but that the difficulty in acquiring permits leads to unlawful activity.

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He said, “Jis route se wo log jaate the usko Donkey route kehte hai, toh wo Dunki mana ho gaya, and I began researching the story.” (They called the route they took Donkey, which later became known as Dunki.)”

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