For more than one reason, Arjun Rampal is glad to have shot for Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuh. Known for his realistic portrayal of rural India, the director’s new film, which also stars Abhay Deol, is about Naxalism. Arjun says the film not only allowed him to play a cop for the first time, but also served as an eye-opener about some ground realities.
“His films are not boring documentaries, yet they talk about relevant issues. They are the perfect combination of realism and commercialism,” says Arjun, adding, “I didn’t know what the Naxal movement was about. We live in cities and that’s why we feel this is the whole world. We are ignorant about the Naxals. Prakash told me that 90 per cent of India lives in villages. There’s nothing happening to promote their growth. They are an easy target (for the Naxals), and they get influenced easily.”
In the film, Arjun is torn between duty and friendship, when Abhay’s character becomes a Naxalite. The actor shot for the film largely in Madhya Pradesh: “The jungle terrain was tough, but we were prepared. Coming back to the city felt like a shock after those serene locations.”
The actor says shooting in such a “real” environment helped him “get under the skin of (his) character.” Chakravyuh is his second film with Jha after Raajneeti (2010). The filmmaker has also signed him on for his next, Satyagraha, with Amitabh Bachchan.