Hot on the Wheels
For a film set in Kolkata’s crime world of the ’70s and ’80s, the production team of Yash Raj Films’ Gunday needed for its protagonists Bikram and Bala — played by Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor respectively — a car that would belong to the period. It needed to be flashy enough to be owned by the mafia, and in running condition for chase sequences. When Lal Balooch, a car supplier for Bollywood, received the request, the choice narrowed down to Chevrolet Impala. However, only few of these old cars, a status symbol in the ’70s, are available in running condition in India, and even fewer that can be used for action sequences. After much search, Balooch tracked down a garage that had the near-junk remains of Impala and over the days that followed, his team rebuilt the car.
Action no longer revolves around the hero and the baddies alone. Filmmakers Abbas-Mustan and Rohit Shetty have taken the trend of action sequences beyond car chases — with vehicles that fly, topple, burn or blow up. Sourcing cars, a job that was earlier on the periphery of filmmaking, has therefore become a full-fledged profile in the last few years. Agents such as Balooch often spend days together to source the required vehicles.
Ejaz Gulab of action director duo Javed-Ejaz explains that the model
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