Qayamat, city under threat

Who is Aashish Chowdhry?

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Did you know Saif Ali Khan was to star in Qayamat? The role eventually went to newcomer Aashish Chowdhry, who then proceeded to fracture his leg on the very first day of shooting while descending a cable wire with Ajay Devgan.

Harry Baweja's Rs 15 crore (approximately US $3.2 million) film, starring Ajay Devgan, Suniel Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, Sanjay Kapoor, Isha Koppikar, Riya Sen and Neha Dhupia, has a lot of 'firsts,' including being the first fully digitally graded film in India. The film releases July 11.

A still from gets behind the scenes and offers a peek:

* Actors Ajay Devgan and Suniel Shetty reunite with director Harry Baweja and music composers Nadeem-Shravan for the first time after their platinum jubilee hit, Dilwale.

* The original choice for former Miss India-Universe Neha Dhupia's role was Gracy Singh. The Lagaan heroine opted out because her dates clashed with Honey Irani's Armaan. Singh will now play Devgan's wife in Prakash Jha's Gangaajal.

* For the first time, a Hindi film involves a three-way romantic relationship between Sanjay Kapoor, Isha Koppikar and Arbaaz Khan. The men play brothers who are both aware that the other is involved with Isha.

* The jail sequences of this film have been shot in the prisons of Diu. The outdoor sequences of the prison have been shot in Diu's old forts.

* A romantic angle between Suniel Shetty and Raveena Tandon was shot for this film. It is now been edited out because the makers thought the film was too long.

* Qayamat marks the comeback of Chunky Pandey, whose last film was Mahesh Bhatt's Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan (1999). Pandey plays a traitor and Chowdhry's colleague at a research lab. Pandey's forthcoming films include Apoorva Lakhia's Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost, Sanjay Chhel's Yahoo and Nikhil Mathur's Fresh Lime. Chunky, incidentally, is quite a hit in Bangladesh, where he has now decided to do one film a year.

* Harry Baweja lost his mother during the making of Qayamat. He has dedicated the film to her.

* Besides styling hair for the leading men of Qayamat, hairdresser Aalim (son of hairdresser Hakim, who worked for Amitabh Bachchan) features in a small cameo in the film.

* Designer Arjun Khanna makes his entry in the film industry with Qayamat. Devgan, Kapoor, Dhupia, Khan and Sen sport outfits designed by him. Incidentally, films happened by chance for this designer. Producer N R Pachisia, who happens to be Khanna's landlord, asked him to design the wardrobe for his forthcoming film Zameen (Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan) as well.

* Photographed by music video director Sanjay F Gupta, Qayamat is India's first fully digital colour corrected film. Gupta had earlier assisted Shekar Kapur (Bandit Queen, Elizabeth, Four Feathers).

Text: Ronjita Kulkarni
Design: Uday Kuckian

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