|HOME | MOVIES | BILLBOARD|
|April 30, 2001||
Puru, Chandrachur: Face off!
Picture this. A big tableland atop a mountain, a ramshackle cottage perched precariously over the cliff, a fleet of police cars racing at breakneck speed and a helicopter whirring in the open skies kicking up storms of dust on each downward sortie.
No, it's not a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster. It is our very own Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, being shot at the rocky Thapa Point, 25 km off Mahableshwar.
Explains Osho Raja, writer-director of the film, "This is the opening sequence where Puru Raaj Kumar, playing Major Abdul Hamid, Param Vir Chakra, is mounting a rescue operation to free hostages held in a cottage by an Afghan mercenary, Jalaluddin Ghaznavi, played by Tom Alter.
"The helicopter carrying the camera, doubles as a crane to capture a panoramic view of the area -- right from the bottom of the valley to the mountain peaks," says a visibly excited Raja.
It is a difficult shot, demanding tremendous coordination between the units, both on land and in air. Walkie talkies are the lifeline here.
It is also very expensive -- each time the chopper touches base, it's an astounding Rs 80,000. And there are several retakes.
Straddling the helicopter, associate cameraman Kaka Thakur is having a tough time filming the shot. He suffers from vertigo, and not even the harness securing him is helping his condition.
It is hot. Very hot. The mountains look bare with barely any vegetation on them. In fact, Thapa point does not look anything like a hillstation.
"The opening scene is like that of a James Bond flick," says T P Aggarwal, producer. "This (scene) works as a prologue, and sets the tone for the rest of the film." Son Rahul echoes the setiment.
Rahul, who is doubling as an executive producer, is training in direction and has put in his creative ideas into the film.
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata is, says Aggarwal, "about the present generation which has lost its traditional values. It is an effort to remind them of their role in nation-building."
Aggarwal also claims to be the first in Indian cinema to have actually shot a film at the famous Tihar Jail, Delhi.
Son of actor Raaj Kumar, Puru is in his element, clad in a black commando outfit as he climbs 150 feet up a steep rock without complaining. The effort shows on his sun-scorched biceps. "I'm trained in rock climbing," he says, nonchalantly.
He plays a positive role unlike his earlier baddie roles. When asked whether he had accepted villainous roles out of desperation, he retorts, "A role is a role. Hindi cinema is moving slowly towards the Hollywood trend, where the character is important, not the stereotyped demarcation between hero and villain."
He plays the lone, tough crusader who is called upon when all else fails. And his next release is N S Raj Bharath's Vadh with Nana Patekar.
Dreamy-eyed Chandrachur plays an educated but misguided Kashmiri militant, Shabbir Khan, who is later reformed by school principal, Jaya Prada. Incidently, the talented actress makes a comeback with this film.
Looking very fresh at 8 am, Chandrachur informs he went home at four in the morning, after a shoot at Sidney Point, 18 km away from Mahabaleshwar! The unit had been filming a song, which has to be shot only at sunrise and sunset. The song is a romantic duet where he is playing the younger part of his character. The music is an eclectic mix of Western and Indian classical.
"You seem to have a good knowledge of music," the question escapes my lips. "I'm better at music than at acting," says the actor, who used to teach music at Doon School before he set out to pursue acting in films.
Chandrachur doesn't like being labeled a romantic actor. He is playing a character with gray shades and even an action hero in two of his forthcoming films. "I used to be insecure earlier. But now I just go out and enjoy my acting," he says. "The success or failure of my films doesn't really bother me now."
Among his forthcoming films are Mohabbat Ho Gayi Hai Tumse with Sanjay Dutt, Aur Phir Ek Din... and Sarhad.
Asha Saini debuts opposite Chandrachur and is a bundle of nerves. She says, "I'm grateful to T P Aggarwal for giving me a break. I have known him since my childhood."
She has acted in about 14 Telugu films with such veterans as Balakrishna and Venkatesh. She was also Miss Calcutta and Miss Delhi.
Vikram Aditya and Rinku Ghosh are also introduced in the film, and play students of the school that forms the backdrop of the film. Shatrughan Sinha plays a minister and husband of Jaya Prada. The films also stars Vidya Sinha and Farha.
The music is by debutante Hriju Roy.
The film will be 70 per cent complete once this schedule is over, informs Aggarwal. The rest will be shot at Ranikhet and Kashmir and would involve plenty of action, under action director, Babbu Khanna.
The film is due for release in September 2001.
Tell us what you think of this feature
ASTROLOGY | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEDDING | ROMANCE | WEATHER | WOMEN | E-CARDS |
HOMEPAGES | FREE MESSENGER | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK