Shooting in Kashmir was most peaceful: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

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By Ruchika Kher

Mumbai, Feb 6 (IANS) Four months of unrest in the summer saw over 100 dead but filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra shot his comedy in Jammu and Kashmir during the biting winter in what he termed "the most peaceful shoot". He said people came out in hordes in the beautiful Gulmarg to help the crew.

"We shot in Gulmarg for 45 days. It was completely snowed out and looked a million dollars. It's the best place to shoot and people are so great there," Mehra, whose production "Teen Thay Bhai" was shot there, told IANS in an interview.

"It was the most peaceful shoot of our lives ever. We received unconditional support from the government. The people of Kashmir came out in hordes to help us and without them it couldn't have happened. In fact, we face problems when we shoot in Mumbai...," he added.

Mehra's film, a comedy, is being directed by debutant Mrigdeep Singh Lamba and stars Om Puri, Deepak Dobrial, Shreyas Talpade and TV actress Ragini Khanna, who is Govinda's niece.

However, it wasn't all hunky dory as the weather played truant. They got caught in a snow blizzard and had to stop shoot for five days.

"The first four-five days of shooting had to be called off because there was a snow blizzard. People went inside the hotel from the lobby and when they woke up in the morning, they had to come out of the window of the second floor because the snow had come up till there," said Mehra, who has directed films like "Aks" and "Rang De Basanti".

"Then snow cutters were called for and army help was sought and for six days nothing was done. All our equipments were under snow. Everything got buried. But thankfully everyone was safe and when the snow kind of eased out after six days, we cut a road to the location and then started shooting," said Mehra.

"It's essentially a story of three brothers who love to hate each other. They can't see eye to eye but then destiny brings them together and they have to discover brotherhood. That's the basic story. It's a comedy," said Mehra.

After his last directorial venture in 2009 film "Delhi-6", the 47-year-old decided to give the mantle of direction to a new filmmaker this time.

Asked for the reason behind it, Mehra said: "When Mrigdeep came with this film, we were looking at expanding the company. He came at the right time and the right moment. When he narrated the script, we immediately decided to make it."

"We were completely moved by the script, his passion and his homework was so strong, his treatment was very good and I could relate to him and how badly he wanted to make the film! So we were very happy to become a part of his vision and produce it," he added.

The promos of the film will be out by Feb 20 and the makers plan to release it April 1, All Fools' Day.

"We are planning to release the film on April 1. That's a huge synergy. It's a completely wacked out script. So we thought that April 1 would be good for it," Mehra explained.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)

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