Kashmir is an unspoken poetry; it is engraved in our very soul: Anupam Kher
Speaks ahead of World Television Premiere of The Kashmir Files on Zee Cinema
One story, a billion emotions - that's what it took The Kashmir Files to become one of the most talked about films of the year. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, it’s a film that resonated with the masses. It voiced out stories of people who fled their homes overnight and sought a new address in the country, The Kashmir Files renders their emotions perfectly. Catch the World Television Premiere of The Kashmir Files on Zee Cinema on 25th June at 8pm. Helming this masterpiece, Anupam Kher opens up about The Kashmir Files, his childhood and more.
● Did shooting in Kashmir bring back any childhood memories?
Kashmir is an unspoken poetry; it is engraved in our very soul. Going back to my home ground for this film was a life-altering experience. I couldn’t believe my own memory of how it was still so fresh in my head. The beautiful meadows of Handwara and Sopore, family visits to Kheer Bhawani, Nishad Gardens and probably the most enchanting place in the world - Dal Lake! I still remember how Baramulla’s cherries used to get delivered to my house through our tiny window. I must have covered every alluring spot on the face of this earth and I would say, if there’s true beauty on this plane, haminastu, haminastu!
● What made you believe in Vivek’s vision for the story?
Making a film on Kashmir’s history is no easy task. Vivek’s approach for The Kashmir Files seemed a liberating one. When I heard the script, I was sure I wanted to be a part of the project. Of course, the subject is close to my heart but also, it was an intersection point where my heart and craft synced. There were moments on the set where Vivek and I used to look at the monitor after the shot and get overwhelmed. I think that's the passion I saw in him which got me immediately onboard.
● What do you think drove Kashmir Files to break box-office records?
Films have been an integral part of our lives; they enrich our perspectives and fuel our way of life. The Kashmir Files was our small attempt at translating a whirl of emotions into a script and letting a wave out for people to connect with and feel heard. We all have gone through the worst in the past two years, but it was pain and grief that brought us close. The Kashmir Files is a window to the unforgettable time Kashmiri pandits have seen in their lives and, in some way, I feel people resonated with that pain. What followed was a chain reaction of emotions across the globe that drove the success of this film.
● How was your experience working with your co-stars?
First of all, I’m grateful to Vivek and Pallavi for making The Kashmir Files. It’s beyond any words that can justify what the journey was like for us. It was a delight to collaborate with Pallavi and Mithun da after a long time. Also, working with Darshan Kumar and Bhasha Sumbli was an absolutely refreshing experience. Collectively it was an intense process for us to shoot for this film as we felt the pain all over again. At times, it was difficult to separate on-screen emotions from what I felt within for real. However, seeing my co-actors immersing themselves into the role and completely detaching from the real world, made the whole process easy to follow.
● You’ve worked on more than 500 films, so what do you think stood out about this project?
I like to keep moving, keep experimenting and reinventing myself. Crossing borders to test my craft comes with a lot of challenges that keep me on my toes all the time. However, I believe The Kashmir Files is beyond every film that has been a career-defining for me. This film isn’t a script or elegant series of dialogues, it is truth, my truth. So, clearly it stood out and made its impact on the world.