Sunny Deol’s Blockbuster Gadar: Ek Prem Katha released on the same weekend as Aamir Khan’s Blockbuster Lagaan back in 2001. It's intriguing that the sequel to the movie, Gadar 2, comes at a time when the double bill craze is thriving in the movie business with Barbenheimer, prompting us to reminisce about the initial release of the film. Let’s look at some of the lesser-known facts about Sunny Deol's 2001 Blockbuster Gadar: Ek Prem Katha:
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha is based on the true story of Boota Singh, a Sikh ex-soldier in the British army who fell in love with Zainab, a Muslim girl whom he rescued. She was kidnapped from a kafila (or caravan), on its way to Pakistan. Boota and Zaina got married and started a family, but eventually, Zainab was deported back to Pakistan. As depicted in the film by Tara Singh’s character, Boota pursued her in the hopes of reuniting them. While in the film, Tara Singh finally reunites with Sakeena, in actuality, Boota Singh committed suicide after Zainab gave in to familial pressure and refused to get back together with him.
Like Gadar, Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Boota Singh is a 1999 Punjabi film, which was also based on the real-life love story of Boota Singh and Zainab. Unlike Gadar, this movie sheds light on the tragic ending of Boota Singh’s story.
All of the film's sequences depicting Lahore were shot in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The well-known confrontation scene of the movie was filmed at the La Martiniere Boys School in Lucknow. Some scenes were also shot in Lucknow's Iqbal Manzil Palace.
There are rumours that Govinda was Anil Sharma's original choice for the role of Tara Singh. However, despite sharing the narrative with Govinda while directing him for Maharaja (1998), Anil Sharma never signed him for the part. Sharma claims that after hearing the story of Gadar, Govinda was rather concerned. It's because a significant portion of the plot takes place in Pakistan, and recreating Pakistan on such a major scale was going to be a bold move. Sunny Doel was therefore his top pick at all times.
There are rumours that Ameesha Patel was not initially considered for the role of Sakina and the director wanted Kajol for the film but owing to scheduling conflicts, she was unable to be a part of it. The filmmaker recently addressed the claims, stating that Kajol was not the only actor he approached for the part. He met a number of female actors for the role of Sakina, but nothing worked out. Ameesha Patel was finally cast and performed the part magnificently.
The film's director Anil Sharma cast his son Utkarsh Sharma to play the couple’s son Jeete. Utkarsh then made his debut as the lead in the 2018 film, Genius.
Sunny Doel’s grandchild Aryaman was born on the same weekend that Gadar: Ek Prem Katha was released, making the release of the film more joyous and celebratory for the family.
Although the film was set in 1947, it features the music of ‘Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be),’ first published in 1956.
Gadar became one of Bollywood's most successful films of all time and far outperformed the budget at the box office. It was made on a budget of Rs 20 crore and the initial theatrical run reportedly brought in over 140 crores.
Reportedly, Gadar is the only film in history to have sold 10 crore tickets, setting a world record. Due to the increasing demands from the audience, the movie was screened in theatres beginning at 6 am and went on till the last show at midnight.