Danny Denzongpa, at 59, is not exactly not idle. The actor, who began his career with Mere Apne in 1971 and played the villain in many films, has an interesting role in Frozen, his 150th movie.
The film is making the rounds of many festivals, including the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival, this month.
He plays Karmam, the father of a young woman called Lasya and a son called Chomo in a remote village somewhere in the northern Himalayas. The family's quiet life is disturbed when the army moves into the village in search of the enemy, but instead finds a frozen body.
First time director Shivajee Chandrabhushan, a sociology graduate from Delhi University, says the low-budget film, which got stuck for want of money, got a big morale boost when Danny stepped in.
'Danny Denzongpa fitted well with the character of Karma. He is a Buddhist and the son of a monastery head priest,' Chandrabhushan recently said. 'He loved the script and when I showed him pictures of the locales, he was on.
Mumbai's Gauri, an untrained artiste with a sharp, intelligent mind, was cast as Lasya from the start. The boy Angchuk, a brilliant actor, as Chomo, was chosen in Ladakh.' Danny, who still gets roles in masala films like Big Brother, never lost patience though the Frozen shooting was delayed from time to time.
Filmed in Stakmo, an hour drive from Leh in Ladakh, the movie is in black and white. It is being shown at the Toronto festival's Discovery Section, its only competition section, one tailored to emerging filmmakers worldwide.