There is some disappointment in store for Neil Nitin Mukesh. Bejoy Nambiar's Hindi-Tamil bi-lingual David which was to feature Neil in both the languages would now have the actor only in the Hindi version.
A source says, "There are three stories in David, one set in London in 1975 in black-and-white featuring Neil as a gangster. The second story features the Speedy Singhs' actor Vinay Virmani in Hindi and Jeeva in Tamil as the respective protagonists of a plot set in Mumbai in 1999. And the third is a story set in Goa in 2010 featuring Tamil superstar Vikram with Tabu in both Hindi and Tamil. The Neil section was supposed to be common to both Hindi and Tamil. But now Neil's section has been scrapped from the Tamil version."
Bejoy Nambiar doesn't deny these developments. "It's true a decision has been taken to scrap Neil's story from the Tamil version of David. Now the Tamil version of the film is shorter than the Hindi version. While the Hindi version would finally be approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes long, the Tamil version is only 2 hours and 10 minutes long."
Explaining the 'creative decision' to keep Neil Nitin Mukesh out in the Tamil version, Bejoy Nambiar says, "Neil was really looking forward to his Tamil debut and he had worked hard on it. He has been a pillar of strength throughout the making of the film. But it can't be helped. There are certain practical considerations. Now only the stories featuring Vikram and Jeeva are part of the Tamil version. Rather than think that Neil has been kept out of the Tamil version, I'd rather think Neil is exclusive to the Hindi version."
Taking the knock-off sportingly on his chin, Neil Nitin Mukesh says, "David is a sync-sound film. We had two options. Either I dub later in Tamil and thereby kill some of the impact of the original dialogues, or we edit my story out of the Tamil version. It was a creative decision taken by my producers, my director and me to edit out my story from the Tamil. So, while the Tamil version would have 2 stories featuring Vikram and Jeeva, the Hindi version will have Vikram, Vinay Virmani and I in three stories. I am so looking forward to David. Bejoy Nambiar is a bloody incredible director. I consider him the Quentin Tarantino of our cinema."
Neil Nitin Mukesh (L) and Vidya Balan pose during the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2012 ceremony. (AFP)