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When Shashi Kapoor came to Lucknow for Junoon

Actor Shashi Kapoor’s Lucknow connection dates back to the ’70s when his period film ‘Junoon’ was shot in parts of Lucknow, Malihabad and Kakori.

lucknow Updated: Dec 05, 2017 16:16 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Shashi Kapoor,Junoon,Lucknow
(Left to right) Lucknow based historian Yogesh Praveen with actor Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Jennifer Kendal during the shooting of Junoon.(Photo courtesy Yogesh Praveen)

Actor Shashi Kapoor’s Lucknow connection dates back to the ’70s when his period film ‘Junoon’ was shot in parts of Lucknow, Malihabad and Kakori.

The movie went on to bag three National and six Filmfare awards.

“It was in the mid-seventies when actor Shashi Kapoor and director Shyam Benegal approached me for ‘Junoon’ (released in 1978),” recalls Lucknow-based historian Yogesh Praveen.

“As the story was set in the backdrop of India’s first war of independence 1857, the actor-director duo wanted to check some historical facts with me as I had done a good amount of research in the area. I have fond memories of meeting Kapoor, his wife Jennifer Kendal and director Shyam Benegal during the shooting of ‘Junoon’,” he says.

Praveen, who spent hours at the shooting locations of the film, says the actor was very popular.

“Girls and boys used to bunk classes to watch the shooting. Thousands of people would gather outside to catch a glimpse of the actor who would happily take out time from shooting and interact with them,” he says.

The historian recalls that the actor and the director were so particular about the accuracy of historical facts that they dropped the idea of creating any artificial set for the film.

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“Instead, he (Kapoor) chose to shoot with actor Shabana Azmi and Jennifer on real locations at old kothis or havelis,” he says.

There was a scene depicting clash between Indian and British soldiers that was shot near the famous St. Thomas Church in Sadar Cant area.

Rajesh Messy, who still lives in the area, recalls that he was just 10 when the film was shot in the area. “I remember the shooting and the actor very distinctly. People used to go crazy for him during shooting,” he says.

Another portion of the film was shot inside Kothi Shahji of Chowk which belonged to a Hindu family.

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For the Pathan family, kothi of Kavi Kamal Khan in Malihabad was chosen. Kothi of Nawab Kazi Garhi of Kakori was also used for the shooting.

“The ‘mahurat’ of the film was shot near Beta river of Kakori and Malihabad,” he says.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 12:17 IST