Akshay Kumar to pull off sword fighting sequences in 'Kesari'
Kumar to pull off high-octane sequences involving sword fighting, Gatka and artillery for Kesari's elaborate two-month Wai schedule
With his recent outings edging towards social issues, fans of Akshay Kumar have missed watching him pack in a punch on screen. Fortunately, they will be treated to his bravado yet again in Kesari, which will see the actor slip into the role of Havildar Ishar Singh, the leader of the 1897 Battle of Saragarhi. The Khiladi has often put his martial arts skill on display for cinephiles, but he will now be seen pulling off fight sequences involving traditional artillery, sword fighting and Gatka.
The unit of the Kumar and Karan Johar co-production has already set base in the picturesque Wai, Satara, where the large forts of Saragarhi and Gulistan can be recreated. A source reveals that the schedule is crucial, given that filming the action sequences before summer arrives is essential. Talking about the Lawrence Woodward-choreographed stunts, the source adds, "The war sequences are currently being designed. Most of them will feature Akshay, so the action is being created while keeping his physicality in mind. The fight sequences primarily involve the use of traditional artillery. Although the hand-to-hand combat scenes are few, the team is contemplating roping in pehelwans from the akharas of Punjab to lend authenticity. Their presence on set will also ensure that Akshay's demeanour is aligned with his character."
Akshay Kumar in Kesari
Professional Gatka trainers, says the source, are also being appointed to train Kumar in the form. "Since it is the oldest form of self-defence that Sikhs resorted to, it is fitting that the makers showcase it in the film. Akshay has allotted 15 days for training. It involves the use of wooden sticks. It will be mixed with sword fighting," says the source, adding that a unique pressure point striking technique is also being included in the film. "The team is also sourcing Indian weaponry like gandasas and bhujs for the elaborate scenes."
While the actor can pull off stunts with panache, the source suggests that replicating ease in traditional action methods is difficult. "Further, the scenes also involve the use of heavy costumes, which can make them difficult to pull off. Wai offers the space that a shoot of this nature requires. The set is currently being created."
Kumar will join the unit after wrapping up promotional work for his upcoming film, Pad Man, in mid-February. He will be stationed in the mountainous region for two months to wrap up shooting in a start-to-finish schedule.
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