Be it Sholay, Silsila, Namak Haraam or Baghban, several films have captured the magic of Holi over the years. Now, the song Ek Junoon in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD), promises to be one of the most expensive Holi sequences in Bollywood till date.
The only difference is that instead of colours, the producers recreated the Tomatina festival, the Spanish version of Holi, which is played with tomatoes and water. It wasn’t easy as the unit wanted to shoot in July while the annual festival is celebrated in the Valencian town of Buñol in August. Also, the tomato crop in Spain wasn’t ripe enough in July, last year.
So they imported tonnes of tomatoes from Portugal before shooting with Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin and Ariadana Cabrol. Producer Ritesh Sidhwani says, “Tomatina is important to our movie, which is about a group of friends who are on a road trip around Spain. I thought the Indian audience would relate to tomatoes because in India, people also use eggs and mud to play Holi.”
Since they couldn’t clog Buñol’s drainage system, the producers had to pulp the 16 tonnes of tomatoes before shooting. It cost ` 1 crore to get the tomatoes for the shoot. They also shot some wide angles when Tomatina was celebrated in August.
Director Zoya Akhtar says, “It was extremely sweet of the people of Buñol to cooperate with us during the shoot. It was great fun as they celebrated twice, once as they always do, and again for India.”