Director Raj Singh Chaudhary's recent directorial 'Thar' brought Anil Kapoor and son Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor onscreen for the first time. The action thriller is inspired by the genre of neo-Western film. So, in order to keep the genre and the film's location in sync, the director decided to choose Rajasthan as the location for the story. He explains the similarities between the earthy and gritty locales of Rajasthan and the international genre of neo western cinema.
The film was a Netflix original, which garnered praise from the viewers.
Talking about why the location of Rajasthan was chosen, Chaudhary says, "When I had thought of the story of 'Thar' I wanted to make it unique and something that very few films in India had done. I love spaghetti westerns of the past and even now when they are being made. When I saw these westerns I always found a stark similarity to the landscape of the place I belong to in Rajasthan. And also the faces of the people were very similar - sunburnt, wrinkled, dirty teeth, mustaches, beards and that sort of feel, so similar to to the westerns I had seen."
He adds, "So I thought organically we can fit the story in the western genre into this part of Rajasthan and make it visually so beautiful while also making it gritty. The genre of westerns had lent organically to the story. I know Rajasthan at the back of my head and there is a Rajasthan which I know it is not just the palaces and sand dunes rajasthan and that is what we have shown in Thar. When I was writing the story, I visualised it in that sort of a way which we had presented in Thar."
The filmmaker reveals that selecting a location in the harsh climate of Rajasthan was not an easy task. Since the film was not based in the comforts of city, it was difficult to find a set-up which could also be friendly for the production.
"I wrote the script four to five years back and I didn't know when and how the film would get made. I had some locations and visuals in mind and the visual landscape as I knew a part of Rajasthan. Whenever I went back to the state after writing the script I always explored on my own. I used to just drive around and get off if I would find something interesting, walk, trek and do all of that. It helped to keep writing and evolving the script in terms of locations," he says.
Infact, Chaudhary drew inspiration from his childhood memories as well.
"The chauraha shown in the movie is actually 3 kms away from my ancestral village and I had seen that place since childhood. But I always wanted other locations which you have seen in the film and I was very particular of having these locations. We kept hunting as these locations were tough to find. I looked around thousands of villages but finally I got that one location.. it was dilapidated 800 year old structure in the middle of the mountains," he says.
The filmmaker add, "I zeroed in on the place but then it was difficult to shoot because logistically production wise one couldn't. But insisted that it was perfect and it was something I visualised and the production made it happen and we managed to shoot there."