Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chale Chalo

In the last few weeks I have been lucky to receive interesting gifts, some to read and some to watch. A book on ‘Mad,’ and one on ‘An Autobiography of an Yogi’, and several DVDs which are worth viewing.

One such DVD that was inspirational and made an impact was ‘Chale Chalo’ - The Lunacy of Film Making. This two hour documentary depicts the trials and tribulations the film unit drawn from the far corners of the globe went through while making of the film ‘Lagaan.’ Most of us just see the outcome and are not privy to the inputs and efforts that finally make the end product. Though it has to be seen to be believed, I am making a mention of some of the pieces that made profound impact.
The film director Ashutosh Gowariker suffers a slip disc during the making of the film in the desert of Kutch and continues to shoot the film for an entire month lying on a stretcher. He chooses not to disturb the continuity and the flow of the film, and submerges himself into the film. So much for leadership. Veteran film actor, AK Hangal suffers an acute back pain and finds it impossible to stand on his feet or even sit on his own. He refuses to budge or leave the sets even though one can hear his cries due to unbearable pain. He is brought into the sets in an ambulance and nonchalantly with a lot of grit and determination effectively delivers his monologue with the entire unit in raptures. At the end he is heard saying ‘the show must go on.’

Shooting of the cricket match shown in Lagaan required about ten thousand spectators. Believe me, ten thousand villagers were brought in two hundred trucks and assembled at the venue. Villagers when informed that they were to assemble for a shooting, had decked themselves in the best of their clothing whereas the film required them to be dressed in dhotis and turbans. It was mind boggling to see that ten thousand such dhotis and turbans were distributed to make it look a real village setting. It was interesting to see the meticulous arrangement for breakfast and food for such a crowd, and one could only exclaim ‘God is in the details.’

Finally, kudos to actor Aamir Khan, his wife Reena and the entire unit for producing the film despite several constraints like housing, the desert heat, facilities, and managing costs within budgets. One scene that vividly stands out is the conversations that Aamir has with the crowd to film the crowd of ten thousand cheering, raising their hands and come running and rejoicing at the Indian team’s victory.

What stupendous efforts and clocklike precision in making it happen. An excellent lesson in team work.


Hopeless Romantic said...

there is a book by the same name and i have read it...its quite mind boggling how it all worked out and finally came out with this masterpiece movie..

Neha said...

i have read this book too...if u liked the movie, i am sure you will quite like the book as well :)

nsiyer said...

Thanks Hopeless Romantic for your comments' Not seen you for long.

I will read the book, Neha. Thanks for coming over.

Sylvia K said...

That sounds so very interesting! Don't know if I can find it here, but I'm going to look for it.

Hope you continue to heal and that you're feeling good. You sound good, lots of energy!!

Have a lovely evening!


Kavi said...

Indeed glad that this is turning out to be an opportunity to catch up on things that will give you enough fire power to pull through when you get back here !

look forward to have you back sir !

Samyukta said...

A great post Sir.

I remember viewing the Making of Lagaan at the theatre.

It was really moving and highly motivational.

Hope you are doing fine now.Wishing you a super speedy recovery!

Sridhar said...

Very nice post.will try to read it,as I have seen Lagaan. Wishing You a speedy recovery

Greener Bangalore said...

Lagaan is one of the best ever movies made in India which shows the importance of team work and guidance....!