Bollywood’s Tryst With Winter
Posted on 16 Apr 2019
Ajay Devgn left no stone unturned to ensure his action extravaganza Shivaay is a visual treat. Produced, directed and starring the 47-year-old, the Diwali release modeled itself on Lord Shiva’s personality and peculiarities in a contemporary tone. The action hero fought hypothermia to shoot on the top of Bulgaria’s Balkan mountains at a temperature as low as minus 19 degrees.
Here are some other occasions when Bollywood shot in extreme cold.
Not too long ago, Devgn’s better half Kajol shot in Iceland alongside Shah Rukh Khan for the Gerua number in Rohit Shetty’s much-hyped film, Dilwale. Freezing temperatures are a given when you’re in a country called Iceland. Here’s what the Fan star had to say about it to us, “Kajol is my friend and I don’t need to praise her like this, but it takes guts to go there and shoot what she shot in that cold place. We’ve shot in a lot of cold places, Kajol and I. We’re champions of the cold. But the cold there was too much.”
In Imtiaz Ali’s grim road trip, one sees ample glimpses of incredible, untouched Northern India. Alia Bhatt recalls the hardships they faced while filming scenes in Kaza, Himachal Pradesh. “It snowing heavily, there was no electricity, no hot water and none of the hotels were open.”
Vishal Bhardwaj’s critically acclaimed adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is predominantly shot in Kashmir during snow season. Shooting the striking Bismil song in such conditions was especially challenging for its titular hero Shahid Kapoor.
“The temperature was -15 and -17 degrees Celsius. While dancing, after every two steps, everybody had to sit down. The air is so thin and we were not used to dancing in that kind of weather. We were all wearing five layers of clothing and it was difficult to move with that weight,” he remembers.
One of the biggest highlights of Rajkumar Santoshi’s Pukar is a song sequence picturised on its leads against the majestic glaciers of Alaska — the first Hindi film to do so. While Anil Kapoor is sufficiently bundled up in woolen-wear, Madhuri Dixit braves the chills in an icy blue chiffon sari lip-syncing to Kismat Se Hum.
Despite his dislike for winters, Salman Khan puts on his tough-guy front to brace the infamous Russian cold in snow-covered St Petersburg for Lucky: No Time For Love. The love story paired him opposite a 22-years younger Sneha Ullal who plays a schoolgirl in the movie.
The Hero: Love Story of a Spy
Director Anil Sharma’s fetish for snow-based action is well documented in the trippy Tahalka.
In The Hero, he tries to keep it classy for his stunt-filled climax in Switzerland’s Jungfraujoch, at minus 16 degrees weather, some 3,454 meters above sea level with a snowmobile riding Sunny Deol to the rescue. Off-screen, the Ghayal star admits, “Every five minutes, we had to be transported to rooms with heaters. We just froze — it was that cold.”
Although the script of Fanaa is based in Kashmir, the political climate of the troubled region forced the makers to film in Poland owing to similar snow-packed scenery. It wasn’t a walk in the park shooting in such white sleet for two of Bollywood’s most dedicated actors.
Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan had the time of their lives taking off to various locations from Ratlam to Bhatinda in the frothy Jab We Met The duo’s enthusiasm stays intact while zooming through the subzero climate of the frosty and fatally dangerous Rohtang Pass.
It snows non-stop in Divya Khosla Kumar’s eminently forgettable mush, Sanam Re. While the image of Yami Gautam and Pulkit Samrat cozying up in white fluff may seem post-card perfect it left its heroine reeling under the weather.
From aimless slacker to focused army man, Hrithik Roshan comes of age in true cinematic style in Farhan Akhtar’s Lakshya. Part of his wartime accomplishment is filmed at Ladakh’s high altitudes and testing terrains, which was harder than it looks.
As it director reveals, “Everybody at some point must have felt ill. At one point, I was completely dehydrated and had to be hospitalised. I am sure the altitude affected everyone.”
In a pre-release interview to Rediff.com, Dutta told us how, “when we first went (to Ladakh) in March, it was snowbound when we landed at Leh airport. The locals said they had not seen such heavy snowfall in 15 years. Nights would drop down to -20 Celsius and the days were -15 Celsius to -10 Celsius. They said it was the worst winter.
“I panicked. I didn’t know how we would shoot. Would my boys be able to take it? I sat them down and told them we would go back because we were not prepared for this.
“Everyone turned around and told me, ‘No way, Sir. We have come here. We will finish our work and go.’ They stuck it out. We stayed for 25 days in the first schedule.”
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