June 22, 2022

‘Kashmir is unspoken poetry engraved in our very soul’

ANUPAM KHER | The actor, who is known for his work in movies like Saaransh, Vijay, Ram Lakhan, Khel, Darr among others, talks with SUPRIYA RAMESH about his experience filming for The Kashmir Files, why he thinks it stands out and Moreover. Catch the world TV premiere of The Kashmir Files on Zee Cinema on June 25 at 8 p.m.

Did filming in Kashmir bring back childhood memories for you?

Kashmir is an unspoken poetry engraved in our soul. Returning home for this film was a life-changing 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 cherries were delivered to my house through our little window. I had to cover all the seductive places on the face of this Earth and I would say, if there is any real beauty on this plane, haminastu, haminastu!

What made you believe in Vivek Agnihotri’s vision of history?

Making a film about the history of Kashmir is no mean feat. Vivek’s approach to The Kashmir Files seemed liberating. When I heard the script, I was sure I wanted to be part of the project. Of course, the subject is close to my heart, but also, it was a point of intersection where my heart and my job synchronized. There were times on set where Vivek and I used to stare at the monitor after shooting and be overwhelmed. I think it was the passion I saw in him that immediately got me on board

What do you think prompted The Kashmir Files to break the box office record?

Films are an integral part of our lives, they enrich our perspectives and fuel our way of life. The Kashmir Files was our little attempt to translate a whirlwind of emotions into a storyline and leave a wave for people to connect and feel heard. We’ve all been through the worst in the past two years, but it’s pain and heartbreak that have brought us together. The Kashmir Files is a window into the unforgettable period that Kashmiri pundits have had in their lives and somehow I feel people resonate with that pain. What followed was a chain reaction of emotions across the world that led to 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 is beyond words that can justify what the trip was like for us. It was a pleasure 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 again. Sometimes it was hard to separate the emotions on screen from what I was feeling for real. However, seeing my co-actors immerse themselves in the role and completely detach themselves from the real world, made the whole process easy to follow.

You have worked on more than 500 films. In your opinion, what marked this project?

I like to keep moving, to keep experimenting and reinventing myself. Crossing borders to test my craft comes with many challenges that keep me constantly on my toes. However, I believe The Kashmir Files is beyond any film that has defined my career. This film is not a script or an elegant series of dialogues, it is the truth, my truth. So clearly he stood out and had his impact on the world.