Director Madhur Bhandarkar always dreamt of visiting Jammu and Kashmir and, when he finally did, he was inspired to “bring laughter” to the Valley and shoot a comedy in its picturesque locales -- unlike the umpteen number of films on militancy and terror that Bollywood has churned out.
“I had never been to Kashmir in my entire life. It was a childhood dream to visit the Valley. I spent a large part of my growing-up years praying I’d get a chance to visit Kashmir. Then I decided I’ll wait for my child to be born, so we can experience Kashmir together...Now I feel I’ve got one of my oldest dreams fulfilled,” says Bhandarkar, who went to Gulmarg with his wife and daughter for a holiday.
“It’s so calm, peaceful and nourishing ... no sign of stress and violence,” Bhandarkar told IANS.
Bhandarkar was so taken in by Kashmir that he is now thinking of setting his next film, a comedy, in the Valley. The filmmaker feels all the films shot in Kashmir in the last 15 years have stressed the militancy and violence issue above the human, spiritual and geographical beauty of Kashmir.
“Kashmir is not only about guns and violence. Why can’t we make a film highlighting the pristine beauty of Kashmir which is still intact?” asks Bhandarkar.
And that’s why he wants to make a comedy set in Kashmir -- without any reference to militancy and extremism. Of course, he too wanted a break from serious films.
“After a series of serious films I needed a break. Kashmir has given me just that,” said Bhandarkar, who has directed movies like “Chandni Bar”, Page 3” and “Corporate”.
Now it’s up to Bhandarkar’s writers to weave the comedy earlier set in Mumbai into a Kashmiri location.
The last real light-hearted film set in Kashmir was Subodh Mukherjee’s “Junglee” in 1961.
“Let’s bring the laughter back into Kashmir,” Madhur.