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B&W film after 40 years

india Updated: Apr 14, 2009 02:12 IST
Serena Menon
Serena Menon
Hindustan Times
B&W film after 40 years

After almost four decades, a black and white Hindi movie will hit the silver screen.

While extravaganza is the flavour of current breed of Hindi cinema, Frozen’s USP is its low budget and the subtlety of its script.

The last black and white films were shot in the 1960s — Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam (1962), Bees Saal Baad (1962), Bandini (1963) and Aasmaan Mahal (1965). “It is difficult to pinpoint which was the last black and white film since there was a crossover period between 1950 and 1970 when both black and white and colour movies were being made,” said film historian Feroze Rangoonwala.

Director-producer Shivajee Chandrabhushan has shot Frozen entirely in monochrome. “The sky in Ladakh was clear blue when we were shooting in –25° Celsius. We needed to make it look like winter and not summer. It was also the demand of the script.”

The story is a narrative about how the lives of a father, son and daughter living in the solitude of Ladakh get disrupted when the Army sets camp there. “We forget that in between black and white, the film has lots of gray. So I can call it a black, white and gray film,” Chandrabhushan said.

Frozen’s release was deliberate, using the opportune time as producers and distributors are on a two-month strike against the multiplexes’ profit-sharing model and the forthcoming Indian Premier League.

“This is my first film. I am a small producer and cannot afford a Pan India release. It will be a staggered release where four prints will travel around the country in installed releases,” said Chandrabhushan.

The film will first release in Mumbai on May 1, followed by Kolkata, Delhi and south India. “Depending on the response, we will send it to smaller cities,” said Shivajee.

The film stars Danny Denzongpa, Aamir Bashir, Raj Zutshi, Sanjay Swaraj, Yashpal Sharma, Denzil Smith, Shakeel Khan, Shilpa Shukla and introduces Gauri and Angchuk.