It’s official now! South superstars Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth have inspired Amitabh Bachchan’s aesthetically loud look in his home production, Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap. With that, director Puri Jagannath has managed the impossible, he’s turned a suave and trendily dressed actor into a flashy, bizarre and loud gangster.
Puri, best known for his Tamil films like Pokhiri, admits he sketched Amitabh’s character keeping Kamal and Rajni in mind. "You’ll find straight similarities between Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan’s over the top styling in the way Bachchan’s look has been designed," he smiles.
Bachchan flaunts scarves, jazzy shirts, branded loud glares and twin watches while driving cars at top speed, and riding a Harley Davidson on the city streets. "When Lepakshi (the film’s designer) and I went to show him the clothes, Amitabh opened his wardrobe and brought out the flashiest shoes, glares and watches, the kind that no one has ever seen him wear socially or otherwise. You’ll be surprised, but he has leopard prints in his collection too," Puri reminisces. "His attire will raise eyebrows initially, but once into the film, everyone will adore it."
Puri also reveals that it was filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma who nudged him write an exceptionally fresh script for the Bollywood superstar. And it didn’t come easy. "His current lot of films is distinct and very intelligent. And I approached him with a potboiler masala movie," he laughs. "He was taken aback because he found it to be loud. But he laughed a lot when he read the title."
Puri grew up watching the superstar as an angry young man, bashing bozos and squeezing villains like oranges. “He hasn’t done something like that in a long time now. I wanted my favourite hero in my favourite avatar,” says the director, who has shown Amitabh playing an ex-Mumbai gangster, settled in Paris where he owns a pub, and returns to city after 20 years to do finish that one last job. “This character is so arrogant that if someone calls him old, he flips.”