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20 Years of Ek Hasina Thi: Sriram Raghavan used white rats dyed black with tooth-powder for the CHILLING climax scene: “Fortunately, Maneka Gandhi didn’t have any problem with the rats in our film”

en Bollywood News 20 Years of Ek Hasina Thi: Sriram Raghavan used white rats dyed black with tooth-powder for the CHILLING climax scene: “Fortunately, Maneka Gandhi didn’t have any problem with the rats in our film”

The genius filmmaker Sriram Raghavan recently delivered Merry Christmas, which was released on January 12. Interestingly, it arrived in cinemas in the same week when he completed 20 years as a feature film director. His debut directorial, Ek Hasina Thi, was released on this very day, on January 16, 2004. It wasn’t a huge commercial success but received massive critical acclaim. Urmila Matondkar delivered one of the best performances of her career while Saif Ali Khan proved that apart from being a cool urban hero, he can also convincingly play a villain.

20 Years of Ek Hasina Thi: Sriram Raghavan used white rats dyed black with tooth-powder for the CHILLING climax scene: “Fortunately, Maneka Gandhi didn’t have any problem with the rats in our film”

20 Years of Ek Hasina Thi: Sriram Raghavan used white rats dyed black with tooth-powder for the CHILLING climax scene: “Fortunately, Maneka Gandhi didn’t have any problem with the rats in our film”

Ek Hasina Thi was the story of Sarika (Urmila Matondkar) who gets into a relationship with the suave and charming Karan (Saif Ali Khan). One day Karan tricked Sarika into confessing to a crime, leading to her imprisonment. How she came out of jail and exacted revenge formed the rest of the story. The film’s climax was memorable as it showed Sarika pushing Karan into a dark mine where he gets killed by an army of rats.

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror in January 2019, Sriram Raghavan remarked, “Fifteen years since its release, my debut film Ek Hasina Thi is still remembered for its horrific rats.” In this interview, he revealed that the rats were never a part of the initial script. It was only when he had gone to do a recce in Rajasthan to scout for a mine that someone mentioned that the place must be full of rats. The director didn't end up shooting there though it was the apt location as it was not feasible to take the crew and equipment in the mine. But the idea of rats stayed in his mind and made it to the film.

Still, there was some hesitation. Sriram Raghavan stated, "When I argued that since the story was set in Delhi, where Sarika would find a secluded cave, Ramu (producer Ram Gopal Varma) emphasised that emotion scored over logic. He told me to shoot it convincingly, confident it would be accepted."

The final scene was shot in a quarry in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai and in a studio in Mumbai's Chandivali. Sriram said, "We debated over how much to show, eventually leaving it to the audience to imagine his death as the light goes out and he screams as the rats attack."

And how was it to shoot with the rats? He replied, "We had three junglee rats which we kept tied and used for terrifying close-ups. The rest of the rats you see in the frame were actually white mice. We had called for two dozen of them and my assistant Kusum touched them up with black tooth-powder so they appeared a darkish grey on screen. These mice are the friendly sort, and even I have held them without fear of getting bitten. For that shot where a rat runs up Saif’s leg, we used a wound-up mechanical toy."

Sriram Raghavan, in this interview, also revealed, "My sister-in-law called me from a theatre in Delhi a few days later to say that she was watching the film. And, she added, that Maneka Gandhi was sitting one row ahead of her. Fortunately, she didn’t have any problem with the rats in our film."

Also Read: Sriram Raghavan was reminded of Amitabh Bachchan from Saat Hindustani and Anand when he met Agastya Nanda for the first time for Ikkis: “He’s a guy who is refreshingly normal”

More Pages: Ek Hasina Thi Box Office Collection , Ek Hasina Thi Movie Review


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