Agneepath director Karan Malhotra has admitted that he had Marlon Brando’s Apocalypse Now’s bald look in mind while designing Sanjay Dutt’s Kancha Cheena character in his film. The actor however doesn’t find any similarities.
Apart from the earrings that Brando’s Colonel Walter E Kurtz doesn’t wear, Sanjay also points out that Kancha Cheena doesn’t even have eyebrows and eyelashes. “He is suffering from an ailment that leaves him hairless. I shaved my head for the role, not once but twice, and the eye-brows and eye-lashes have been digitally removed,” he informs.
The bald look caught the eye instantly in the film’s first promos, as did the only dialogue, ‘Vijay Deenanath Chauhan ko marna padega (Vijay Deenanath Chauhan has to die), followed by a menacing laugh. “I loved Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman (1989) and it was on my mind when I was working on Kancha Cheena’s laugh,” says Sanjay.
He has vivid memories of Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty and Danny Denzongpa from the 1990-original. “Mithunda’s (Chakraborty) Krishnan Iyer MA has been done away with in the remake and though Hrithik (Roshan) and I are replaying Vijay and Kancha, their look is different with Vijay in jeans and Kancha in a black ‘dhoti’,” he reasons.
Sanjay admits he found the role exceptional. Prod him on whether it gave him the blues like Devdas, that left Shah Rukh Khan sad for a year, and he laughs, “There’s too much sadness in life for me to court more. I interpreted the character my way with a focused Karan (Malhotra) as my guiding light. And the reactions have been ‘Wow!’” he smiles.
But Sanjay is wowed by Katrina Kaif’s item number in the film, Chikni Chameli. “It’s a very ‘desi’ track choreographed by Ganesh Acahrya. Katrina in an Indian avatar dances like a dream. She was fantastic in Sheila ki jawaani, she is awesome in Chikni Chameli,” raves Sanjay, relieved that he didn’t have to match steps with her. “Kancha just sits and watches. I enjoyed doing that.”
Any resemblances to Helen’s Sholay Chartbuster, Mehbooba mehbooba in Gabbar Singh’s den? “None whatsoever, Chikni Chameli is different.”