Illuminati Films and Eros International’s forthcoming spy thriller starring Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor is complete and all set to hit the screens on March 23 this year. The first look that was unveiled a couple of days ago have met with a stupendous response and that has raised the prospects of the film. With sky- high expectations the makers are leaving no stone unturned with the promotion of their venture and are cent percent certain of the film hitting the bull’s eye at the ticket window.
However, one thing the cast and crew of the film would never forget as long as they live would be the first day of the film’s shooting.
According to our source, “Oh, it was a nightmare. The first day’s shoot of the film resulted in most of the cast and crew falling sea sick except for Saif Ali Khan and the director Sriram Raghavan who were on their feet.”
Although Sriram and his team were fully prepared for a good day’s work, having done a thorough recce by boat and had even rehearsed the scenes several times over in the hotel room, this was least expected.
“The shooting of the film began with an action sequence on a boat off the coast of Tangiers, a city in northern Morocco. The scene had Saif Ali Khan taking on a king- sized villain and his goons,” added our source.
According to the director, what they had not taken into account was that it is one thing to shoot on terra firma, and another in a choppy sea. “I was on one boat with the actors and a crew of about 20. And there was a larger boat following us with the additional stock and reserves,” he reminisces.
It was just a day’s shoot, but after a couple of hours on the tempestuous sea, suddenly, one by one, the unit members started retching and retiring.
“Preoccupied with the shoot,” Sriram recalls, “I didn’t realize that people were dropping out of our boat, into what had now become a sick boat, until I found myself with just the DoP (Director of Photography) and the cameraman, my first AD, Saif and the main villain, who was a stuntman accustomed to rough weather. With just work on our mind, we stayed on our feet on a rocking boat, but the rest of the team had become violently seasick. We had to go through a tough time, getting
them all back in form.”
Luckily, despite the rather shaky beginning, the makers managed to can the shots that were required. However, they couldn’t succeed in getting some additional footage that could be used in the making later.
Another major hurdle that the crew faced was while communicating with the locals who spoke only Arabic and French. English was a foreign language to them, and many of their instructions to the local crew were lost in translation.
“Surprisingly though, the Moroccons are pretty clued in to Hindi cinema but they didn’t understand the language,” Sriram says. “One day, while I was sitting at a café, a local boy walked up to me and started singing a song from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1996). He got 90 per cent of the words right too.”
In a scene set in a café, Sriram even got a local to sit with the junior artistes in the background and sing. “So you won’t just get to see Morocco but hear Morocco in my film too,” he smiles with a tinge of pride.