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‘Gadar’ Director Talks About Vision Behind Sunny’s Hand Pump Scene, Calls Film ‘Indian Titanic’


Gadar: Ek Prem Katha is for sure one of the biggest films in India since the turn of the century.  

The Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel starrer, set in the partition era, was a massive hit when it released and remains a film that people continue to revisit to this day.

From songs like Main Nikla Gaddi Leke to iconic scenes like Sunny Deol uprooting a hand pump and mouthing slogans of Hindustan Zindabad in Pakistan, this movie has its own separate fan base.

The movie has completed 20 years of its release and many people back then wanted to know director Anil Sharma’s vision behind the iconic hand pump scenes as many intellectuals questioned it and called it a very impractical approach.

Sharing his vision behind the scene, he told Hindustan Times, “When I was writing the scene, I felt like throwing the entire building on Amrish Puri (his character, Ashraf Ali). But that was not practical. So, I decided to put the handpump in the scene. It was not just about uprooting the handpump, it was an outburst of emotions. It was symbolic.”

He added, “When people asked me how can it be possible, I told them, ‘When Lakshman needed sanjeevani (herb) in Ramayan, Hanuman picked up the entire mountain.’ Tara Singh may not be Hanuman but he can uproot a hand pump. We believe (in Hanuman’s deeds) as we are emotionally involved. It (the scene) was creative liberty we took, and every person sitting in the theatre watching Gadar: Ek Prem Katha related with the emotions and clapped for the sequence. Many intellectuals do not understand this as they believe in working on logic alone.”

Here’s the video of the scene:


The director also gave it back to those who found it too far-fetched and said that they aren’t emotional enough to understand the outburst of Sunny’s character Tara’s anger.

“Not many people agreed with the scene when it was written. Most intellectuals felt it was too far-fetched. I do not say intellectual people are not emotional, they are. But they believe in logic, they believe two and two make four. But for emotions, two and two can make five, or, even ten. There are no definitions for emotions and that scene was about the emotional outburst,” he said.

© Zee Studios

He further elaborated, “People lay down their lives for their country, a mother may do so for her child, or lovers sacrifice their lives for their loved ones. These do not fall under any definition of logic (but they do happen). Love can be defined beyond logic. Logic is a very materialistic thing, that involves mathematics and science. But few things are beyond science.”

© Zee Studios

The movie is etched in the hearts of the Indian audience. Gadar broke the record previously set by Sholay for most tickets sold for a Hindi film. 

In another interview with Indian Express, he talked about the success that the movie got and compared it with the Titanic. He said, “When I was making Gadar, I understood that it’ll become India’s Titanic and it did become one. When the record of tickets was revealed, we got to know its sale was even more than Titanic. Such was its footfall. To this day, it is said that Gadar had the maximum sale of tickets and footfall seen by any movie in India. We’ve had bigger filmmakers in our industry, but this is God’s blessing that my film created such a record. You see the magic is still the same when it airs on television even today.”

Do you agree with his statements? Let us know in the comments section below.

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