Gadar director Anil Sharma is cautiously rhapsodic. “We expected Gadar 2 to be a hit. Lekin yeh to gadar se bhi aage gadar ho gaya. Ek Gadar 2001 mein machi tthi.Abb ek Gadar 2023 mein machi hai. I won’t lie, the volume of success has taken us by surprise. On Saturday night I went to the cinema to see my film for the first time as a member of the audience. What I saw left me overwhelmed. So much love, my son Utkarsh got mobbed. I have always been to the movies as an audience. This time the experience was something else.”

Anil Sharma is overwhelmed by the response to his films. “Many directors have called. David Dhawan, Rakesh Roshan called to congratulate me.”

How could such a film be made at the cost of Rs 60 crores only?

Says Anil Sharma, “We’ve worked really hard. The entire team worked really hard.My technical crew, my wife…they gave their best attention to the film. Would you believe ,we haven’t shot on a single set. Every shot is done on location. With thousands of onlookers on location we shot the scenes. Sometimes there were 3,000 people at 3 in the morning who came to see their favourite Sunny Paaji shoot.”

It has been a long period of exile for Anil Sharma whose last film was Genius launching his son Utkarsh as a leading man.

Anil Sharma says he hadn’t gone anywhere. “I was only trying to find my bearings in the changing environment of filmmaking. Now with Gadar 2 I have discovered that audiences’ tastes are still the same. You say I’ve made a comeback. Mujhe toh laga hi hain ke main kahin chala gaya. Lekin industry ko laga main chalaa gaya. The industry has written me of. I was just taking a break.”

Gadar 2 proves Sunny Deol to be the best action hero. Says Anil, “We made the film with a lot of honesty, no computer graphics in the action sequences. I have no words to tell you how hard every member of Anil Sharma Productions has worked to make this dream come true.”

What about the film being accused of Pakistan-bashing? “Humne Pakistan ko bilkul bash nahin kiya hai. We’ve brought the truth to the forefront. The truth is, in `1971 the Mukti Vauhini Sena fought a war for the creation of Bangladesh. Thousands of women and children were killed.We’ve shown so many Pakistanis as sympathetic in the story.What can I do about people with their own mindsets and agendas?’