After a spate of action films, Salman Khan plans to venture into different territory, remaking the 2009 Marathi hit, Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy. Highlighting Maharashtrian pride, the movie pointed to the downfall of the once-proud son of the soil, who lets himself be pushed around and denigrated.
The movie starred and was directed by Salman’s friend, Mahesh Manjrekar, who had played the Maratha warrior king, Shivaji. And despite his predisposition towards beating up baddies, the Bodyguard star decided against portraying Shivaji in the Hindi remake. "I don’t intend to play him," says Salman. "But I’ll be happy producing it."
The actor is already set to highlight the loopholes in the Indian education system by producing the Hindi remake of Mahesh’s Marathi hit, Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho (2010) under his Salman Khan Being Human banner, which he is also likely to star in.
Ask if he is more in awe of Shikshanachya… and Salman says: "Not just that, I am also very impressed with Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy." Although makers refuse to put a timeline to the films, Mahesh — who will direct the Hindi version — plans to meet Salman in January to discuss the projects.
"I haven't met him since he’s busy with back-to-back films. And now, I have started shooting my next Marathi film," says Mahesh.
He adds that the remake might come with a few tweaks. "Me Shivaji... had a Marathi premise, but Salman’s production won’t necessarily have the same theme. We will try to weave in national issues," he says. The film is likely to start in 2012.
Apparently, Anil Kapoor, who is expected to rehash Sachin Khedekar’s role from the original, has offered to work for free. But Manjrekar refutes this, saying, "Since I will be directing it, I can assure you no actor has been finalised yet."
Marathi pride on screen
Dinkar Bhosle (Sachin Khedekar) is a middle-class Marathi man making ends meet with his job as a bank officer. His kids face trouble in their careers due to their background. His wife wants to sell off their town-side decrepit house to a Gujarati builder in exchange for a flat on the outskirts of Mumbai. He starts pointing fingers at other communities, while cursing himself for being Maharashtrian. That’s when the seething spirit of Shivaji Maharaj appears, upset with him for his narrow-mindedness. As his Marathi pride resurfaces, Dinkar embarks on a journey of self-realisation.