Gadar is not just a film, it’s an emotion. The romantic period action film has remained a classic even after 20 years of its release. The film was made with love and passion. And what made it stand out was the authenticity, as it was shot at real locations in North India. Before the film went on floors, a team researched about the locations with historic relevance, did a recce and selected props from the era they were recreating. And while shooting at real locations, they made major changes to give a look of the pre-independence time.
Amritsar Railway Station was one of the many locations where the film was shot. And to make it relevant to the film’s timeline, all the advertisements and posters displayed within the station were pulled down and replaced with the ones from the 1940s. The modern equipments were replaced with the old dummy ones. The scene was shot on the same platform where a train from Pakistan had arrived in 1947. For that, a steam engine was hired from Delhi’s Railway museum and brought to Amritsar.
Not only the location was real, but also the crowd. The filmmakers posted an advertisement stating that anyone wearing Kurta-Pyjama will be in the frame. As the news spread, the sales of the mentioned traditional garment skyrocketed and the local people turned up in lakhs for the shooting of the sequence in which the train was shown coming from Pakistan.
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The scene was so realistic that even the real crowd who contributed to the scene was teary-eyed while shooting. Director Anil Sharma told, “As the scene got over, one old Sikh gentleman was banging his head on the platform chair and howling with no intentions of moving away. When I told him, ‘Paaji, the shoot is over!’, he looked up slowly with tears in his eyes and said, ‘It was more than 50 years ago when I was about 10 and I have myself witnessed the incident in real life. An actual train full of corpses had arrived and today it was as if everything was happening again in front of my eyes’.”
Managing the local crowd was a challenging task for the crew. When the crowd gathered at the station on the first day, it turned violent and began throwing stones. Eventually, the police intervened and did lathi-charge to take control of the situation. Though the pre-partitioned look of Amritsar didn’t suffer any damage, the steam engine was lightly damaged. The film crew took up all challenges to do justice to the script and the story they were telling.
The team of Gadar has reunited once again after 20 years for its sequel. The shooting of Gadar 2 has already begun in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. The film brings back the iconic Jodi of Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel. It will be directed by Anil Sharma.