EXCLUSIVE: Gadar franchise writer Shaktimaan on films’ anti-Pakistan dialogues, “They kill our people in terrorist attacks, we shouldn’t even talk about it?” : Bollywood News

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EXCLUSIVE: Gadar franchise writer Shaktimaan on films’ anti-Pakistan dialogues, “They kill our people in terrorist attacks, we shouldn’t even talk about it?” : Bollywood News

Like Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, it’s sequel Gadar 2, which released earlier this month, has also become a blockbuster. The film’s writer Shaktimaan Talwar (better known as Shaktimaan) said that on both occasions, he expected the films to be hits but certainly not such colossal successes. Directed by Anil Sharma, Gadar 2 takes forward the story of Tara Singh, Sakeena and Jeete, played by Sunn Deol, Ameesha Patel and Utkarsh Sharma. In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama, Shaktimaan looks back at the franchise’s birth over 20 years ago and shares his thoughts on the famous handpump scene and the status of Gadar 3.

EXCLUSIVE: Gadar franchise writer Shaktimaan on films’ anti-Pakistan dialogues, “They kill our people in terrorist attacks, we shouldn’t even talk about it?”

Did you expect Gadar 2 to become such a big blockbuster?

Even during the first film, I knew it would be a hit. But I didn’t know it would become such a big success. I also had a similar feeling for Gadar 2. But you can’t exactly predict, although it’s easy to just predict just for the sake of it.

How did this whole journey of this franchise begin with Gadar: Ek Prem Katha?

My parents had migrated to India from Pakistan during the partition. I was born in Delhi. During my childhood, I heard stories related to the Partition from them and what all happened back then. Me and Anil ji were once working on a film on Kashmiri Pandits, on the lines of the recently-released The Kashmir Files. We had narrated the story to Dilip (Kumar) sahab and he had even liked it. But it couldn’t get made. We needed a subplot for that story in the second half. I started exploring that part and found the idea of Gadar. I thought this can become a good film in itself. Anil ji also agreed with me on this.

How did you think about that famous hand pump scene in the first film?

The emotion of that scene is very big. Till that time in the story, the protagonist has been facing one problem after another. He is agreeing to leave everything, including his religion, for his family. He is even hailing another country. But politics is still being played with him. Once a common man goes through such an emotion, he can’t stop. It’s about aar ya paar. And in those days, there used to be hand pumps. This is how the hand pump scene came about where he uproots it, so that he can leave the place with his family.

Did you expect that moment to become so big that you would need to include it in the sequel as well?

Neither me, nor Sharma ji thought about this. But while writing, the writer gets a feeling that the audience, till that scene, has tolerated the humiliation along with Tara Singh. So the audience starts thinking from inside that all of them are chaalaak and that Tara Singh should fight them. When such a feeling takes over you, such type of situation is created. But we didn’t think so much about this scene and that we would include it in the second film as well. But it became a highlight, which everyone remembers. That’s why we included that moment as touch-and-go in this film as well.

The sequel to Gadar came after over 20 years. Did you or Anil Sharma think about a lot of story ideas for the second part in all these years?

Anil ji had heard a lot of stories from others. He heard ideas from 40-50 people in these years. Lekin baat ban nahin rahi thi. Even wherever I went, people used to tell me that these days every other film is getting a sequel, so why aren’t we making one for Gadar. I did try and think 3-4 times (about an idea). But I used to think that Gadar is a complete film in itself. And in the process of taking the story forward, it shouldn’t happen that the respect we have (for the first film) gets affected.

But one day, I got the idea thinking about Tara Singh’s profession of a truck driver (story of Gadar 2 moves forward because of his profession). I thought Tara Singh’s next visit to Pakistan should be justified. The audience should feel that he has to go to Pakistan again. It’s not a tourist place like Switzerland where he takes his family for a tour. We, thankfully, found a reason for his revisit to Pakistan.

There are some critics who have always objected to the anti-Pakistan dialogues in Gadar and Gadar 2. What is your take on that?

They carry out terrorist attacks here and kill a lot of our people in Taj and through blasts in trains. How long should we tolerate this? And we shouldn’t even talk about this? We don’t reply to them with violence because of our culture; India runs on brotherhood. They saw this in Gadar 2 but they didn’t see the hero telling the villain that India is a country of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians. The country is for all those who sacrificed for its freedom. These journalists didn’t notice Tara Singh saying in the first film that there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan. Maybe they think that they will get noticed only if they do some hungama.

Along with Gadar and Gadar 2, you have also written a number of other Anil Sharma films like The Hero: Love Story OF A Spy, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo, Veer and Singh Saab The Great. It seems you have a good comfort level with him

We understand each other well. Films are made for the public. They can be made only after collaborating with someone and taking their views. In this way, my relation with him is very strong. He is very hardworking and someone who understands things quickly. When he is doing a film, he won’t think or talk about anything else. He is a very good person as well. We are together since over 30 years.

You haven’t done too many films in your career. Any reason for this?

I don’t think one should do a film just for the sake of doing. There should be an understanding with the makers. People do keep approaching you. At times, they say that they have a story and ask me to write the screenplay and dialogues. They don’t even ask if it is worth making a film on that story (laughs). So, at times, it’s difficult to create a rapport and understanding. We are required to be with one script for 6-8 months and keep meeting after every few days to discuss. So that rapport is needed.

Which are the films that have inspired you as a writer?

We had some very good films made in the 1970s by Raj Kapoor sahab, Hrishikesh Mukherjee sahab, Dulal Guha sahab, Raj Khosla sahab, Vijay Anand ji. When I was a kid, I used to watch their films 15-20 times in theatres. I was so passionate about films that I was okay with getting beaten up at home but I couldn’t stop watching movies (laughs). I used to remember the films and their dialogues. We used to sit with friends and recite dialogues of different actors in their voices.

Gadar 2 ended with a hint about Gadar 3? What is the status of the third film in the franchise?

There are plans. Both the films have done equally well and we have received love and respect for them. If we are able to create something interesting again, we will surely do it.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Ameesha Patel on Gadar 2 culmination, “That’s why they didn’t show Sakeena meeting and acknowledging Muskaan as daughter-in-law”

More Pages: Gadar 2 Box Office Collection , Gadar 2 Movie Review

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