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Jimmy Shergill, Minissha, Yashpal Sharma, Mukesh Tiwari, Dolly Ahluwalia, Gyan Prakash
Shoojit Sircar
Gary G, Shoojit Sircar, Robby Grewal
Shantanu Moitra


Thursday, January 1, 1970 • Hindi Comments

One more film about the violence in Kashmir? Not really, says director Shoojit Sircar of "Yahaan", explaining it will show the reality, the people behind the gunfire and the aspirations behind the agony.

"This is the first film to be shot in downtown Srinagar," Sircar told IANS.

"We have tried to make it as authentic as possible and completely about the people of Kashmir. Otherwise, films on Kashmir become a mix of cliches about the militants and the (Indian) Army."

The film, which releases later this year and whose stark, almost "Thin Red Line"-ish promos are now on TV, stars Jimmy Shergill and debutante Minissha.

Shergill plays a compassionate army officer and Minissha is a local girl called Adaa who falls in love with Shergill's character, Captain Aman.

The film delves into their lives and travails as they try to battle for a love against all odds and against the backdrop of a Kashmir set ablaze by insurgent violence.

"These are two young people who have the same dreams and ideas that young people around the world have - and yet their circumstances are such that they cannot fulfill them," said Sircar, who has made 200 commercials before "Yahaan".

"But they believe that they can triumph, they believe that they can surpass all odds and make it happen. You see, I don't think that the lives of the young in Kashmir has really been dealt with in cinema - how does it feel like to be young in Kashmir?

"That's what I have tried to address," said Sircar, the man who made the famous "Mann Ke Manjere" video with Shubha Mudgal.

In the film, said Sircar, there is no glossing over or adding glamour to Kashmir.

"It is a very beautiful place and there is phenomenal warmth in people. That's what I have tried to portray - what is the true nature of 'Kashmiriyat', how that culture is unique."

He said he believes that after more than a decade of relentless violence, Jammu and Kashmir is much misunderstood and people have forgotten the reality of the place.

"All we see about Kashmir in our films is the Dal Lake and I wanted to say that there is more to Kashmir than the Dal Lake."