The Bollywood gangster wrap

  • Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 11, 2014 14:53 IST

Underworld dons and their lives have been a constant source of inspiration for film-makers, over the years. And now, a number of new films are revisiting the genre. |

To start with, Arjun Rampal will be seen as gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli in a film, titled Daddy. Also, after depicting Manya Surve in Shootout At Wadala (2013), John Abraham is reportedly set to portray another gangster, who operated in Mumbai in the ’80s-’90s, in Sanjay Gupta’s next, Mumbai Saga. Similarly, Nikhil Dwivedi will be seen playing gangster Abu Salem in a biopic to be directed by Navdeep Singh.

"When you are bestowed with the responsibility to portray such a role, you have to delve deep into it. You have to understand the person and his personality, so that you are able to do justice to the character," says

Arjun Rampal

, who would like to meet Gawli "very soon" to take his advice. He also plans to lose "a lot of weight" for the film.

Rumours suggest that Shah Rukh Khan will also have a tryst with the world of gangsters, since it’s believed that his character in Rahul Dholakia’s


is modelled on real-life don Abdul Latif, who ruled the roost in Gujarat in the ’80s. Although producer Ritesh Sidhwani calls Shah Rukh’s character "fictional", his partner Farhan Akhtar stated last year at an event, "The film is based in Gujarat and his (SRK) character is based in Gujarat. He is playing a gangster in the film, which deals with crime and law."

That’s not all. Last year, reports suggested that Mithun Chakraborty is set to play the ’60s don, Varadarajan Muniswami Mudaliar. "This is another powerful character after Nanaji in Guru (2007)," the veteran actor was quoted as saying.

Also, Meeruthiya Gangsters, written and directed by Zeishan Quadri (the writer of Gangs Of Wasseypur) is apparently based on a real-life incident."

Till date, Bollywood film-makers have taken inspiration from many real-life gangsters like Karim Lala, Haji Mastan, Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Rajan, Maya Dolas and Surve, among others, for their projects. Actors, too, look forward to portraying such complex characters on screen.

As Nikhil puts it, "We wanted to make our film earlier, but it didn’t kick off because we didn’t want to start with a bad script. It will be a documentary-style biopic with a realistic take."

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