If you haven't watched Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's latest blockbuster, Jawan, yet, stop reading any further as this story will contain a few spoilers. With that disclaimer in place, let's delve into the opening scene of the film, which also stars Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, and a host of other actors. Shah Rukh, portraying a jailer named Azad in the movie (P.S. There is a double role), embodies a Robin Hood-like character. Sporting a bald look (probably for the first time?), he hijacks a metro with the support of his all-girl gang. In exchange for releasing the hostages, he says, "chahiye toh Alia Bhatt" (lol). After a bit of bantering, he then goes on to negotiate, demanding a substantial sum, which is obviously for a noble cause - aiding thousands of farmers across the country burdened with loans. The purpose of this story isn't to provide plot details but to tell you that the metro station featured in the film is none other than our very own. The scene was filmed at the Sant Tukaram Nagar metro station in Pimpri, marking a moment of pride for us Punekars.
It's been more than two weeks since the film was released, and according to the latest figures, it has grossed ₹953.97 crore worldwide. However, for Punekars, the box office collection doesn't matter as much as the fact that their favourite star shot a scene in their city. They believe that this will encourage other Bollywood actors to consider Pune as a filming location for their movies. Speaking to us, Vaibhav Gate, a regular commuter of Pune Metro, expressed his thoughts, stating, "When I watched Jawan, the entire theatre erupted in cheers when Pune Metro appeared on the screen. Pune, already a cultural hub, is set to receive a boost from this exposure, which may inspire other filmmakers to choose the city as a shooting location, ultimately benefiting Pune Metro and the city as a whole."
After the film's release, Pune Metro, through its official social media handle, wrote, "#PuneMetroShinesinBollywood: #Jawan Filmed at Sant Tukaram Nagar Station. A Proud Moment for Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad citizens and Pune Metro!" Later, in an interview with us, Pune Metro's Executive Director of PR & Administration, Hemant Sonawane, also expressed similar sentiments. "It's a moment of pride for Punekars and the employees of the Pune Metro. Director Atlee had initially come to take a look, and after recognising the world-class standard of Pune Metro's infrastructure, he decided to shoot here in September 2021," he said.
For the scene, many people from the city were used as background artistes. Aniket Rode, a student at DY Patil College in Pimpri, had the opportunity to participate as one of them, playing the role of a commando in the scene. Recounting his experience, he shared, "The shoot lasted for four days. On one of the days, Shah Rukh arrived at 1 o'clock, and later, he returned at 2 with his makeup done. There's a scene in which he is sitting on a bench, and the metro stops right in front of him. This particular scene alone took 11 takes as people kept looking at him or directly into the camera. In another scene, a few junior artistes and I had to walk past him, and that also required 12 takes. From 2 o'clock to 6 o'clock, only two shots were completed, and SRK remained in his character the entire time. He even continued smoking his cigarette while in character." "There was another scene of mine which did not make it to the final cut. However, I am a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan, and getting the opportunity to see him up close is a big thing for me. He looked at me, raised his eyebrow, and I had tears in my eyes," Rode added.