Curated By: Dishya Sharma
Last Updated: August 10, 2023, 15:43 IST
Vivek Agnihotri’s film The Kashmir Files, based on the exodus of Kashmiri pandits, garnered major attention due to its controversial topic. Before Agnihotri, director Anil Sharma had planned a film based on the same subject, with the legendary actor Dilip Kumar in the lead role. However, Sharma postponed the project in favour of creating Gadar. In a recent interview with Lehren, Sharma disclosed that he apologised to the superstar and shared details about how a Kashmir-related subplot intrigued him so deeply that it led him to make an entire film around it, ultimately cancelling the original concept.
The director said, “Unn dinon mera bohot mann tha period film banane ka, bohot saari kahaniyon mein kaam chal raha tha. Hum ek Kashmir karke project bana rahe the, bohot achi script thi, humne usme Dilip Saab se baat ki thi, Dharam Ji se baat ki thi, Dilip Saab ne han keh di thi. Ek din maine apne writer Shaktiman ko bola, ki ‘mujhe sub plot chahiye second half ke liye, kashmir ka ladka aur wahan ki ladki, ek prem katha chahiye’. Toh Shakti ne mujhe ek real life story batayi, woh idea sunte hi main toh walk karne laga, aur maine kaha ‘Shakti ji ye picture bayange’. (During those days, I had a strong desire to make a period film. I was working on several stories. We were working on a project based in Kashmir, it had a very good script. We had talked to Dilip Saab about it and also Dharam Ji. Dilip Saab had agreed. One day, I told my writer Shaktiman that ‘I needed a subplot for the second half, a love story between a boy from Kashmir and a girl from there’. Shakti then told me a real-life story and as soon as I heard the idea, I started walking. I told Shakti, ‘We will make this film’).”
Anil Sharma mentioned that Shakti reminded him that he had spoken to all the actors. Sharma replied that he would apologise to them. Later on, he realized that he couldn’t come up with another story separate from this one. The subplot evolved into the main plot and he felt the urge to make it. Being a director, he was eager to bring that idea to life.
“Sab actors se maafi mangi, kyunki mera mann iss kahani mein zyada agaya, toh main ye banake dusri bana dunga. Dilip Kumar ke sath fir kaam nahi kar saka, uska mujhe life mein afsos reh gaya. But my subplot became a Blockbuster. (I apologized to all the actors including Dilip Kumar, because I was so engrossed in this story. So, I decided to make this and then create another one. I regret not being able to work with Dilip Kumar; that’s a regret I carry in my life),” the filmmaker added.
After 22 years since the release of the original film, Anil Sharma is gearing up for the release of Gadar 2 featuring Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel and Utkarsh Sharma. The film is scheduled for the Independence Day weekend release on August 11.