10th Anniversary of Aamir: A film of struggle and perseverance
It was quite challenging for director Raj Kumar Gupta to finance his debut "Aamir", which released on June 6, 2008, with no industry connections. "Aamir" revolved around Dr. Aamir Ali (Rajeev Khandelwal), who returns to Mumbai from the UK and finds himself at the mercy of extremists intending to carry out a bombing. It went on to receive rave reviews and a strong word-of-mouth.
Raj had approached jewelers, merchants for financing the movie
Several newcomers, director Gupta, music composer Amit Trivedi, cinematographer Alphonse Roy were put together for "Aamir". Gupta recalls narrating the script to a Zaveri Bazaar jeweler, in the hope that somebody would finance the film. "At that point, you are just hoping that somewhere people who wanted to make a film but never got the opportunity exist and now might come together," he said.
The plot of 'Aamir' was in post 9/11 era
Gupta refuted people's beliefs of the film being adapted from a Filipino film "Cavite". "Aamir", the director says, was born in the post 9/11 era where the "world was polarized and things had changed even in India." "The world's perspective had changed. It was a very volatile period and I was mostly inspired from the world that existed then," he said.
It took Gupta 8-9 months to write the film
"Aamir" was Gupta's sixth script and it took him eight-nine months to write it and another two years to find a producer. Vikas Bahl, then the head of UTV Spotboy, decided to back the film as his first production. The film was shot in 22 days, between 7 am to 5 pm, on a budget of Rs. 1.75 crore and a "tight schedule."
The movie was shot on real locations
"It was all shot on real locations which weren't easy to shoot. To execute that was a challenge but we were passionate. Every day, I went to shoot, I thought it was my privilege. So I looked forward to that challenge." said Gupta.
Gupta is glad of not going with a bigger actor
The director is glad that he did not go with a bigger star at that time. Gupta said he was aware that a big actor would not want to work with a newcomer. "Either you have a big daddy who gets you the cast or you are on your own. For me, my work had to speak. I had nothing to lose," he said.
Why was the film named "Aamir"?
"Aamir means a leader, someone who sets an example. As directors and writers, we are always looking at the depth of a name or character. I was trying to find motivation for the character and his journey so the name came from there," Gupta said.