It was snowing in Valley and the director Abhishek Kapoor had decided to cancel the shoot on a rickety wooden bridge in the interiors of Dal lake when Bollywood diva Katrina Kaif volunteered to shoot, pleading that the natural weather would add to the authenticity of the scene. The snow had heaped up on the creaking wooden floor and the railings when the shoot was canned, a liplock between Kaif and the lead actor Aditya Roy Kapur.
Fitoor, an adaptation of Great Expectations, a novel by Charles Dickens,is the first film to be shot in Valley following catastrophic September floods. Kapur plays the role of the central character in the novel Pip, Katrina that of Estella and Rekha, the haunting Miss Havisham out to seek revenge on men for being jilted at the altar.
Film’s story is based in Kashmir with Kapur playing a Shikarah boy in Shalwar Qameez, hailing from a locality on the banks of Dal. In fact, a ten year old Kashmiri boy from the downtown Srinagar plays Roy’s childhood in the movie.
“The boy was picked up from school and trained for the role,” Khawar Jamshed, a Line Producer with Bollywood. Jamshed has been host to such Bollywood blockbusters like Rockstar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. “ The childhood role is entirely based in Kashmir”.
The crew arrived in Kashmir in time for the snow, giving them an opportunity to shoot in the natural winter weather. This year, Srinagar went without snow during Chillai Kalan, Valley’s harshest forty day part of the winter from December 20 to January 30.
The crew filmed some important scenes in the interiors of Dal lake and also at the famous Mughal Garden Nishat Bagh. On Sunday, when it was snowing, the crew travelled to Kand Mohalla in Dal interior and shot the scene, a meeting between Kapur and Katrina.
It was the movie’s second schedule in Kashmir after the autumn shoot during which the unit stayed in Kashmir for over a month. Rekha, who is a begum in the movie, was not a part of this schedule. “She shot for two days in autumn,” Khawar said.
Katrina who sports a red hair in the movie came for the first time. Though she was a part of Jab Tak Hai Jaan which was extensively shot in the state, she was only a part of the film’s shoot in Ladakh. Incidentally. Katrina’s father is a British businessman of Kashmiri descent and as a result the shoot in Valley was a sort of “homecoming” for the actor.