Finally, Barfee has got a sweet taste of Darjeeling with the director, cast and crew enjoying a successful shoot in the Queen of the Hills.
Writer-director Anurag Basu is in town along with Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz, shooting for his romantic thriller. Basu had shot to fame with films like Murder, Gangster, Life in a Metro and Kites.
“ Darjeeling is an excellent place. I am loving it here” stated Ranbir Kapoor (Grandfathers Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor had shot in Darjeeling too.) He has “freaked out” on Tibetan delicacies including Pork Momos, at a local restaurant “Kungas” in Darjeeling. Ranbir plays a deaf and mute youth named Barfee in the film ”It is a warm film with a display of different emotions ,” added Kapoor.
Priyanka Chopra is bowled over by “Misty Darjeeling."
“I will miss the mist coming in through the windows. Darjeeling is extremely beautiful both as a film locale as well as a tourist destination. I am feeling terrible having to return” stated Priyanka. She left Darjeeling on Thursday for Hyderabad to shoot for Krissh 3.
Director Anurag Basu explains a scene to Ranbir Kapoor in Darjeeling
Regarding the film, where she plays the role of an autistic, Priyanka said, “It is not a morbid, sad film. Rather it projects physically challenged people in a very warm way.” As for Ileana, it's her first Hindi film “I couldn’t resist working with such a Director and co-stars. The beauty of this film is the bond between the characters. I am thoroughly enjoying shooting here.”.
Earlier, in June 2011, Anurag had cancelled his shoot schedule in Darjeeling, owing to unmanageable crowds and inclement weather. A heated exchange of words had also taken place between the film crew and the crowd at the Darjeeling Chowrasta on June 16, 2011 had made matters worse. Kapoor and D’Cruz were shooting for the film during that spell.
Finally assurances from the District Administration of cooperation and a request by fellow Director Mahesh Bhatt, resulted in Barfee returning back to the Darjeeling Hills.
A contented Basu stated “Earlier things were not planned well on our part. This time I had done my homework- met Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung and others. The District Administration, specially District Magistrate Saumitra Mohan has extended immense cooperation.” It has been smooth sailing for Barfee this time.
“I did lot of scenes in Mumbai and at one point contemplated shooting in Ooty also. I took a lot of time to decide whether to return to Darjeeling or not and now I feel I have taken the right decision” added Basu.
Priyanka Chopra with director Anurag Basu
There have been lighter moments this time. On Maha-Shivaratri day when Basu along with the three stars visited Mahakal temple under the cover of darkness, they were first stopped by the priest, scolding them for breaking the queue. “The same priest was coaxing me to get him autographs from Ranbir, Priyanka and Ileana” guffawed Anurag.
Ranbir, Priyanka and Ileana are pitching for the film The Artist to win this Oscars. Shooting has been on in the Darjeeling Hills since February 16. The locales include Tindharia, Bhotey Bustee, Hotel Windamere, Chowrasta and the Planters Club in Darjeeling. Shooting is scheduled to end in Darjeeling on February 29.
The film is slated for July 13 (which falls on Friday) release. “I have no issues with a Friday the 13th release” added Basu.