EXCLUSIVE: Anil Sharma on Sunny Deol’s hand pump scene in Gadar: I used that as a symbolic outburst of emotions
Today is a day of celebration as it marks the 20th year anniversary of Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel starrer Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, a film that changed the game for Indian films at the box office. To date, Gadar accounts for the film with the highest footfalls ever and is considered one of the most gigantic blockbusters of all times. To celebrate this occasion, we had the film’s director Anil Sharma joining us for a chat where he opened up about making Gadar, the idea behind it and what made it such a universal film.
He also revisits the most iconic pump scene of Sunny Deol. Talking about how he conceptualised that scene, Anil shared, “The idea was mine. When that scene was being written, I thought that Sunny has accepted everything, he accepted Islam, he even said ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ but despite that Amrish Puri isn’t convinced as he was politically motivated. So emotionally I was so angry that I felt like uprooting and throwing buildings. I was that angry. But some people couldn’t accept that. They found it fake. Intellectual people wouldn’t understand the emotions behind it. But I thought there’s no end to things people can do in emotion. The power of emotion is unimaginable. Emotion is never rationale. One can do anything in emotion. I thought even Hanuman ji uprooted an entire mountain for Sanjeevni booti. So under emotion, I was feeling like uprooting buildings, but that wasn’t practical. And I needed an outburst of emotion.”
You can check out our entire conversation with Anil Sharma below:
“So, I decided to use that handpump as a symbol in that scene. So when you actually look at that scene the audience saw the outburst of their emotion when Sunny uprooted that hand pump. After watching that scene the viewers had goosebumps. People started standing on the seats of the theatre and showered the film with their applauds and whistles. So that was the best way of bursting the audience’s emotions. So Sunny sir was very accepting of that scene. He had the conviction. But a lot of people from the unit were not convinced about that scene. But today everyone loves that scene. Even today there are some so-called intellectuals who make memes. But that’s fine,” he signed off.
Gadar went on to become one of the most celebrated and blockbuster films of the 2000s.