Stories from Kashmir: Bollywood films shot in Kashmir

The scenic state seems to be more than just a backdrop in Vishal Bharadwaj’s upcoming film, 'Haider'. We take a look at Bollywood’s love for our very own paradise on earth

Post-independence, when socialist cinema was in its heyday, Hindi filmmakers trained their sights on Kashmir. As a result, the scenic beauty of Kashmir was captured in several movies.

Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor star in Haider, a major portion of which has been shot in Kashmir.
Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor star in 'Haider', a major portion of which has been shot in Kashmir.

The trend continued till insurgency washed over the state. Fortunately, after a long lull, Bollywood has once again embraced Kashmir. Filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj, for one, was sure about shooting his Shakespearean drama, Haider, in the state. Clearly, the filmmaker has taken the road less travelled.

Kashmir. (Image is for representational purposes only)

hitlist points out other films that have thrown the spotlight on Kashmir while not shying away from highlighting its indigenous culture...

'Roja' (1992)

Director: Mani Ratnam
Lowdown: What appears to be a perfect life for a happily married couple spins out of control when the duo travels to Kashmir — for professional reasons. Later, the husband gets abducted by militants leaving both protagonists stuck in a helpless situation.

'Mission Kashmir' (2000)
'Mission Kashmir'

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Lowdown: A rather ambitious attempt at tracing the long-running insurgency problems to religious bigotry, this film starred Sanjay Dutt, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta and Jackie Shroff. The film had them portray characters that are torn between responsibility, vengeance, love and indoctrination.

'Tahaan — A Boy With a Grenade' (2008)
'Tahaan — A Boy With a Grenade'

Director: Santosh Sivan
Lowdown: With the right mix of innocence and the harsh reality of terrorism, this heart-wrenching tale was spun around the life of a young Kashmiri boy. A curious character, this boy’s sole aim is to get his donkey back from a moneylender. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be an easy task for him.

'Lakshya' (2004)

Director: Farhan Akhtar
Lowdown: A Delhi-based man, seemingly a good-for-nothing, decides to apply to the army. He ends up in the border state away from his ladylove, but nonetheless proud of himself. With Hrithik Roshan in a lead role, this film had the main character’s heroic antics do justice to its title.

'Yahaan' (2005)

Director: Shoojit Sircar
Lowdown: She’s a forward-thinking girl
while he’s a military guy who falls in love with her. Things turn complicated when terrorism interrupts their love story. Minissha Lamba made a remarkable debut in this film as a Kashmiri girl and Jimmy Shergill was cast opposite her.

'Lamhaa' (2010)

Director: Rahul Dholakia
Lowdown: A love story that starred Sanjay Dutt and Bipasha Basu, this film was set against the backdrop of a troubled region. Too many political issues were tackled in this action thriller, making it a sloppy effort. However, it can’t be denied that the film had good intentions.

Stories from Kashmir

Although the Kashmiri film industry is still at its nascent stage, two recent films from the state are worth a mention...

'Harud' (2011)

Director: Aamir Bashir
Lowdown: If subtlety is an art form missing from most films, this independent endeavour has to be a saving grace. It highlighted the damage done to a youth who has been brainwashed into picking up the gun. What’s more, it did so without being preachy.

'Valley of Saints' (2012)
'Valley of Saints'

Director: Musa Syeed
Lowdown: Set against the backdrop of the famous Dal Lake, this Kashmiri film is a thing of beauty. The film shows how a shikarawala’s life takes a turn for the worse when political turmoil and violence come to pervade locals’ lives. The movie also highlights human frailties by showing how the main character deals with the breakdown of relationships.

From reel to real
Inshallah, Football (2010)
Inshallah, Football

Director: Ashvin Kumar
Lowdown: This documentary follows the struggles of a young Kashmiri footballer who has nothing to do with politics, but becomes a reluctant victim of his father’s reputation.

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