Hrithik Roshan was all geared up to start shooting for the Dharma Productions’ remake of
yesterday, industriously going over his lines and getting into the character of the iconic underworld don, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. And then came the spoke in the wheel. With Monday being the verdict day for Ajmal Kasab, permission to film on the streets of South Mumbai was withdrawn, much to the disappointment of director Karan Malhotra.
“It was a damper in terms of mood, but the spirit is strong because it’s only a 24-hour delay,” says Malhotra. “We’ll be back on the same location soon, though it could take a couple of days. We will definitely start shooting with Hrithik from today. And I’m going to remember February 21 forever as the day that Kasab got the death penalty.”
Malhotra is bound by an ironclad contract not to reveal too many details about the project too soon. But Karan Johar’s former assistant admits that he felt like the luckiest human being on planet Earth, the day he bagged the much-hyped remake. “I was numb, I even forgot to scream in delight,” he laughs. “And it’s still to sink in that I’m directing the film.”
Malhotra insists that once the script was locked, his first choice, from day one, was Roshan to step into Amitabh Bachchan’s National Award-winning role. And he was delighted that the star shared his excitement and jumped on board. “I can’t wait to shoot with him,” he says excitedly.
Roshan, on his part, recalls watching the original film in a theatre with a group of children and being completely blown away by Bachchan’s look and voice, the background score based on the 1986 song,
by French composer Jean Michel Jarre, and the sounds of an eagle flying. Asserting that the motive of doing the remake is not to take on the senior actor, Roshan reiterates that this
remake is a radically different film.
“During the narration, I reacted emotionally to the subject as a new story, with no strings that attached it to the old one. Had the intention been to just recreate the earlier film, I would not have done it. But what I heard, sparked off my interest and I told myself, ‘I can do this, I will enjoy doing it!’” he says.
The film went on the floors on February 1, with an action sequence. “It was the first day, a night shoot at the Jogeshwari railway yard, and a car chase. Everyone thought I was crazy, but fortunately it went off well,” reminisces Malhotra.
The first three-four days of shooting were with actor Om Puri. “He is such a phenomenal actor and an absolutely great person with whom I have a high comfort level,” says Malhotra. He adds, “It’s been a pleasant experience so far and for that I need to thank not just my talented supporting cast, but the technicians too, lead by art director Sabu Cyril and director of photography Ravi K Chandran.”