Everything about the film was lavish, the costumes, the sets, the story etc... Amitabh Bachchan was always in the film. Sridevi was not though. Her dual characters were to be played by Dimple Kapadia and a newcomer related to Saira Banu. The producers then wanted to bring a star who could draw audiences to the theatre specially after Amitabh's late 80s films did not do well at the box office. Amitabh Bachchan too was very keen to have Sridevi in the film. He jumped to the idea when the filmmakers suggested her name. But the problem was how would they approach Sridevi with one of the roles! which one should they offer her? She cannot be Dimple's daughter in the film. And the queen will not agree to do a role that has less footage and screen presence. The producers then decided to give Sridevi both the roles! That was one way they thought she would agree doing the film, specially after Dimple Kapdia asked for a price they did not want to pay. So they thought we will pay much more but will get a star who can draw audiences to the cinema.
Sridevi was given the script of the film and was told that she will be playing a double role. The Empress told the producers that she will read it and then give her answer. Of course she was the only actress who would ask this. Other actresses at that time would not even ask for the script if it is an Amitabh Bachchan film. Sridevi took sometime to give the answer. Both Amitabh and Mukul Anand were worried that she would reject the role the same way she rejected many Amitabh Bachchan films in the past. One day Amitji was given Sridevi's song from Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (Dushman Dil Ka Jo Hai Mere) to watch, He was so impressed by her dance in that song. It is known that when Amitabh likes a performance he would send the artist a bouquet of flowers. But what Amitji did to our Last Empress Sridevi was sending her a truck full of flowers!! Magazines came with covers that Amitabh Bachchan is trying to woo Sridevi. Filmfare magazine made a whole cover and story about it (We will post the whole story and pics at some other time). Of course they did not mean romantically but professionally. They said he wanted Sridevi to do the film with him!
When the producers asked Sridevi for her answer the queen said yes provided they stick to the script. And then Sridevi was in Khuda Gawah. Bagging a double role with Amitabh Bachchan. A record that no other actress ever had. And also not to forget her introduction scene, which is again not just the best any actress had with Amitabh Bachchan but can be ranked among the best intro scenes any heroine could get. Khuda Gawah got a very positive response from the critics and audiences. The film was the second highest grossing film at the box office in India in 1992. In the middle east and Arab countries the film was a huge hit. In Afghanistan the film is still hailed as the best bollywood film there and it has been dubbed in their own local languages!
In late 1993 the film was released in the US in a limited way. The response was very huge and then got a wider release in 1994. Late Gavin Smith stated that "God is My Witness is one of the ten best films of 1994" he meant internationally including both Hollywood and Bollywood. While Stephen Holden from New York Times said"Movies rarely offer more rip-roaring action per minute than does God is My Witness". Hopefully we will post their reviews in the review section and we will also talk more about Khuda Gawah some other time with more details. The below is the poster of the film that was released in the US.