16 years of Gadar: The Sunny Deol-Ameesha Patel film was written for Govinda and Kajol

Updated on Jun 15, 2017 05:12 PM IST

As Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel starrer Gadar: Ek Prem Katha completes 16 years of its release today, here’s looking at some trivia that even avid fans wouldn’t have heard of.

Actors Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel in a still from the 2001 film Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.
Actors Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel in a still from the 2001 film Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.
Hindustan Times | ByMonika Rawal Kukreja, New Delhi

Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, a film that broke quite a few records at the Box-office and set some new benchmarks too, completes sixteen years of its release today. Starring actors Sunny Deol, Ameesha Patel and late Amrish Puri, the 2001 Anil Sharma directorial was a period action drama, set in 1947, the time of partition in India. Narrating a love story, Gadar revolves around Tara Singh (portrayed by Deol), a Sikh truck driver from Amritsar, who falls in love with Sakina (portrayed by Ameesha Patel), a Muslim girl hailing from a political family in Lahore, Pakistan.

Gadar was widely shot in Shimla, including some portions at Bishop Cotton School. A couple of scenes were also shot at Sacred Heart School, Dalhousie. Major part of the film was shot in Pathankot, Sarna and Amritsar.

On the film’s sixteenth anniversary today, here’s filling you in on some interesting facts about the film.

Believe it or not, but Sunny Deol wasn’t the first choice to play the role of Tara Singh. Apparently, the director was keen on taking Govinda as the male lead but following the debacle of Maharaja (1998), which was also directed by Sharma, he changed his mind and roped in Deol. And guess what? Gadar is the highest-grossing film in Sunny’s acting career.

Even the female lead, actor Ameesha Patel, wasn’t the first choice to play the role of Sakina. Kajol was the original choice but because of date issues, she couldn’t come on board. It was only after Gadar’s success that Ameesha became one of the most sought after actors of her time. Unfortunately, none of the films that followed could make an impact.

The story of Gadar is loosely based on the real life of Boota Singh, a Sikh ex-soldier of the British Army, who served at the Burma front during World War II. According to reports, he rescued a Muslim girl during the communal riots at the time of partition. Both fell in love and tied the knot, however, later, the girl was deported and went back to Pakistan. Boota illegally entered Pakistan to bring his wife back, but when the girl succumbed to her family’s pressure, he committed suicide by jumping before a train.

Gadar was the first movie, for which theatres ran an early morning show at 6am, on demand from audience .

Reportedly, Gadar holds a world record for being the only movie in the world for which 10 crore tickets were sold.

Gadar was made on a budget of Rs 20 crore (approx) and has already made Rs 60 crore, three times the cost. And after its theatrical run, it was acclaimed as one of the most successful movies in India at the time of its release.

To give a real touch to the scene in which a train from Pakistan arrives, makers of the film had transformed the Amritsar station and given it the look of 1940s, the time when the dreadful incident actually happened.

The scenes, which were shown in Lahore, were actually shot in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, including some parts at La Martiniere boys’ school.

The steam engine that was used on the set to shoot the sequence was hired from Delhi’s Railway Museum. And the scene that was shot at a ‘Live’ station involved real crowd and actors.

Sunny Deol’s Gadar released on the same date as Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan and it was one of the biggest box-office clashes. In the past too, it happened twice that films starring Sunny and Aamir released in the same month. Ghayal and Dil released in June 1990 and Ghatak and Raja Hindustani released in November 1996.

According to director Anil Sharma, Gadar had done a business of 265 crores, which as per today’s calculation is Rs 5,000 crore. Maybe that’s why he recently said that Baahubali hasn’t broken any records, as Gadar had done that back then.

Gadar holds a place in the list of “One of the Biggest Blockbusters in Hindi Cinema”. Not just that, it remains the most watched Hindi film in India as it recorded 5.05 crore footfall in India.

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