Thar, starring Anil Kapoor, Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Satish Kaushik released on Netflix on May 6. The Free Press Journal caught up with the film’s director Raj Singh Chaudhary for an exclusive chat.
Opening up about roping Anil in the film, Raj shares, “Anil Kapoor is a huge star, and no one could have played his part better than him. When I approached him with the script, he told me that he doesn’t know me as a director, so he made me shoot a few scenes with Harsh just to see my directorial capabilities. He liked the final outcome, and then he agreed to do Thar. It wasn’t a father-son duo thing. He just fits into the part.”
Fatima’s role is by far the most complex role of her career. On this, Raj explains, “Fatima was someone whom we have thought of initially. Her character of a village girl isn’t shy; rather, she is fiery. When Fatima came to see me for the film, she was fully drenched in the rain and had no air about being a superstar in her own way after doing films like Dangal and Thugs of Hindostan. She read the script, and we had a long conversation on how we are going to present her in Thar.”
On shooting Thar extensively in the desert, Raj reveals, “We actually shot the film in the winters during January and February. It was quite challenging to shoot in the cold.”
When asked if he was apprehensive about Thar being an OTT release and not the theatrical release, he avers, “It all fits into the place for an OTT platform to come on board and gives us budgets to make Thar at such a scale. Yes, we all definitely want our films to get a theatrical release, but we all want our films to be seen by the vast audience across the globe. Thar is a film which is very rooted, but I have shot it with international aesthetics. I am glad that my film is being screened in 190 countries and dubbed too. I don’t think we would have achieved that kind of audience with a theatrical release.”
Elaborating further, he adds, “My last film Shaadisthan also had an OTT release which even reached my village. In theatres, it would not have reached so many people. For a film like Thar, we had the liberty to make the film the way we want to since theatres have certain restrictions.”
Viewers are especially loving the scenes where Anil and Satish share screen space. “When we were casting for Bhure, the character of Satish Kaushik, we wanted someone around Anil Kapoor’s age to get the camaraderie on screen. So, Anil sir suggested his name and I was sold to the idea considering they both are close family friends in real life too,” Raj concludes.