Frozen, a Black & White film shot in Ladakh, is finally seeing a release in India this May. Though Danny Denzongpa towers the cast of this experimental film, not many are aware that Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah had also been approached for the same role. Though they rejected this film due to various reasons, Frozen still got made with Danny agreeing to play the part of lead protagonist Karma.
Says producer and director Shivajee Chandrabhushan, "Initially, my production house had approached both Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah for the role of Karma, a frail old man in the mountains of Ladakh. However, none of the two could do the film. While Om Puri had problems with the climate, which was that of extreme cold, Naseeruddin Shah was busy with his directorial debut Yun Hota To Kya Hota."
Apparently, Om Puri had just returned from the shoot of Lakshya where he had to bear the brunt of extreme climatic conditions and hence was wary of shooting in mountains again. "It was his graciousness that rather than coming up with a blunt 'No' for an answer, he attempted to state his reason behind his refusal to be a part of Frozen" says Shivajee. "He had an issue with the month in which the film was supposed to be shot but I couldn't adjust my schedule since I wanted a particular weather condition as per the demand of the script."
To Shivajee's good fortune, there was no stopping the film as Danny came to rescue. "Danny saab had the script of my film and he was happy with what he read. I had also sent him a book with some Black & White photographs that I had clicked during my Ladakh recce. That further helped him realise my vision for the film. He was on board in quick time and we embarked on a 28 days start to finish schedule of the film", divulges Shivajee.
After a few forgettable outings in films like Karzzzz, Chamku and Big Brother, one hopes that Danny has sunk his teeth into something really worthwhile in Frozen. Some of the other films in which Danny would be seen in months to come are Acid Factory, Teen Patti and Luck.
Shivajee is ecstatic though about his choice of actor, "Danny saab has turned out to be the best fit for the character. Forget about the looks factor that so much suited the film; even other than that, he is the most fabulous actor from his generation. In those 28 days of shooting schedule, I saw so much of him and ended up learning a lot about him."
Frozen depicts the life of a family whose dream like existence is interrupted by inevitable odds, one after the other. Made in Hindi and Ladakhi, the film was shot at an average height of 12000 feet above sea level in Ladakh. The film has received 18 highly acclaimed awards and has toured 30 international film festivals.
The film also stars Shilpa Shukla of Chak De India fame along with Yashpal Sharma, Raj Zutshi, Aamir Bashir, Shakeel Khan and Denzil Smith. Ready for last two years, Frozen will finally release in theatres on 8th May in spite of stand off between producers and multiplexes. Interestingly, the film would be seeing a staggered release. While in Mumbai the film will be screened beginning 8th May, in other cities it would arrive on later dates.