There is great anticipation for Aamir Khan’s latest epic, Laal Singh Chaddha which hits Indian theatres this week. But the film focuses on a conflict between Pakistan and India which could offer a pause for Aamir’s fans across the border.
Laal Singh Chaddha, Aamir’s first film in four years, is an official adaptation of the 1994 Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump starring Hollywood superstar and Oscar winner Tom Hanks.
While that movie featured Hanks going off to war in Vietnam and where he ended up meeting his best friend Bubba, for Aamir to recreate that in his adaptation, he had to find a more local alternative to the critical aspect of his character Laal Singh Chaddha joining the military and partaking in a war.
With the film set in India and the Indian context, the war sequence means to focus on the last major military confrontation between India and a major archrival.
The only country that seems to tick all the boxes seems to be Pakistan.
No surprise that Laal Singh Chaddha’s Vietnam was actually Kargil.
The conflict, which took place nearly 23 years ago and saw great casualties on both sides.
In scenes from the movie in the trailer and other snippets, including behind the scenes, Laal Singh Chaddha is seen deployed in a platoon that tries to take a hill.
His commanding officer can be seen shouting into his radio that they will do whatever it takes to take the hill.
However, he and his comrades are pushed back due to heavy fire from armed men dug in higher up the hill.
Chaddha is then seen recreating the scene from Forrest Gump where a US platoon retreated from heavy enemy fire and bombing by their own planes and then rescued most of his platoon before being shot.
In another scene which has been teased, Aamir’s Chaddha is seen telling co-lead Kareena Kapoor that he is joining the army but he does not like to hurt people.
The funny thing here is that his shooting plans for the scene were greatly impacted by another ‘enemy’ of India and real conflict.
As he recced locations and sought permission, he was denied permission to shoot in his favored Ladakh region following the Galwan Valley incident with China there.
He then headed towards the Indian side of Kargil near the Line of Control and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) to recce locations with a small crew to complete filming, Times of India reported.
The sequence was the last to be shot for a film that was largely completed during the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). But he was challenged on his ability to complete the shooting of the scenes with permission in active conflict zones a problem.
According to PinkVilla Aamir had turned down suggestions to shoot in recreated sets in Bollywood capital Mumbai, reportedly stating that it would not offer the grand look he needed for the film.