Kashmir in grey
Shoojit Sircar, talks of his debut film - a love story in the Valley
WITH REALISM becoming a major ingredient of Bollywood tales, contemporary issues are being framed with amazing regularity. This time it's Kashmir and the tale is called Yahaan. "It's the love story of a Kashmir girl who falls in love with an Indian Army captain. Terrorism acts as the background," says adman-turned-director Shoojit Sircar. And what is new about this story is the presentation. "We have used guerrilla techniques to shoot the film. I wanted a realistic tone. So we shot in downtown Srinagar with hand-held camera, where none of the filmmakers has shot till date. Sometimes we got cover from the forces but at times we were alone in the so-called infested areas. Even the Chief Minister came and praised our effort."
Shoojit shares that he has used matted cold grey look in the visuals of the romantic passes, Dal Lake and the lanes of Srinagar. "We have seen Kashmir in bright colours in cinema. However, real Kashmir should be captured in winter when the persistent fog gives the entire valley a grey look."
We have also seen Rakesh Mehras from the same advertisement fraternity with products like Aks where the keenness on specifics is as obvious as the loose grip on the basics of the script.
Shoojit, who till date is better known for directing Amitabh Bachchan eating chocolate and Sachin Tendulkar playing football in rain for Airtel, says,"My product has a sound script. I have not gone for larger then life figures and bad mouthing neighbours. I have tried to capture how common man reacts to insurgency. Also it is not a love story of a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl. There is no attempt to hit headlines."
Shoojit tells his is not a big budget venture but with significant improvement in technology one doesn't need huge finances to create a big canvas.
Slated for a January release, Yahaan pairs Jimmy Shergill with a newcomer from Delhi. Isn't Jimmy a soft choice for an Army captain?
"You will see a different Jimmy here. I have changed his appearance. He is a hard working actor and fits the bill both as a hardened captain and a lover. As for the new find Minesha, though a Delhiite, she has a typical Kashmiri girl looks.
I put her under training at N.K. Sharma's Act One for some time. Believe me she is going to be the next big thing in Bollywood."
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