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Full speed

bollywood Updated: Aug 02, 2010 18:09 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Today, Ajay Devgn woos Kangna Ranaut over in ’70s style in Ekta Kapoor’s

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

. Come September, and he will once again get into action with her in a Priyadarshan thriller that the director has admitted is inspired by Jan de Bont’s

Speed

.



The 1994 Hollywood hit revolved around a cop (Keanu Reeves) on a desperate mission to save a busload of passengers from a bomb that would detonate if the speed fell below 50 miles per hour. “The only difference is that we’ve shifted the terror attack from a bus to a train,” Priayadarshan has been quoted as saying. The film will be shot aboard an actual train, speeding from London to Glasgow.



Bomb in a train


Ajay Devgn

Devgn, who is supposed to slip into the shoes of the mad bomber, Howard Payne, essayed by Dennis Hopper, says, “The film is not a remake of

Speed

. And my role is more complicated than that of a terrorist.”



Producer Ratan Jain of Venus, who has collaborated with Priyadarshan earlier on

Garam Masala

(2005) and

De Dena Dan

(2009), also asserts that the film is not a

desi

Speed. “The train with a bomb planted in it is a part of the climax, but there’s more to the story than that. And Ajay, Tusshar (Kapoor) and Sameera (Reddy) are not terrorists, they only make a demand for ransom,” he informs, refusing to divulge more.



Devgn has just wrapped up Priyadarshan’s

Akrosh

. The film revolves around an honour killing and is inspired by the real-life murder by relatives of a young couple, belonging to different communities in Alinagar, Bihar, in 2001.



“It’s ridiculous that in these progressive times, anybody would try to curb an individual’s freedom to choose his or her life partner because of a caste, class or community bias. It’s time the government took concrete action. But till a legislation is passed, films like

Akrosh

can help spread awareness,” Devgn reasons.



Work of fiction

Right now he’s upbeat about his second stint as an underworld don, after Ram Gopal Varma’s

Company

(2002).

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

was cleared for release by the Bombay High Court after Ekta Kapoor agreed to issue a disclaimer stating that the film is not based on Haji Mastan Mirza, and is a pure work of fiction.



Devgn insists that his character never had a muse in Mastan or Amitabh Bachchan’s Vijay from

Deewar

. “Initially, the look was modelled on an Afro-American gangster, Nicky Barnes, with a lot of reds. But then we felt that we were getting away from our culture and decided to stick to whites, a popular colour in our humid country. It’s nobody’s life story, we’ve just picked up bits and pieces from the underworld of the ’70s,” he asserts. But he does admit that he had been told that Sona, Mastan’s Madubala-lookalike-beloved, was cast in a 1973 film,

Kachche Dhaage

, at the don’s insistence.