Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn will come together today on a specially designed set at Hotel JW Mariott, Juhu, to face the camera for Firoz Nandidwala’s Power. Despite their busy schedules, the quartet made time to can the first scene of the action thriller written and directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, since Ananth Chaturdashi is too auspicious an occasion to miss. The event marks the comeback of mahurats that once was a hallowed tradition in Bollywood.
"It’s a big film which is why Firoz and I thought that we needed to make a proper announcement. Not a grand one for effect, but one that would bring well-wishers together ," reasons Santoshi.
The film is being touted as the most expensive film in Indian cinema. While acknowledging that no compromises will be made to do justice to his script, Santoshi refuses to discuss figures. "It’s too early, we want to make an entertaining and engaging film. Just spending lavishly does not make for a hit; indiscriminate expenses could make a project unviable," he argues.
Santoshi spent time with Bachchan on Tuesday, briefing him on his look and the scene. The 67 year old returns to action after Khakee with Power, and Santoshi marvels at his childlike enthusiasm: "Amitji is like a debutant, talking about going on the treadmill and getting into shape."
Bachchan will be doing all the stunts himself. “We are in talks with action directors who worked on blockbusters like Casino Royale, the Bourne Identity and the Spiderman series and Swordfish,” says Santoshi. The 2012 team may design the visual effects.
The filmmaker is touched by the faith his actors have in him. “I’ve been working on my script for six months. They gave me the nod after hearing only a few details. Anil pointed out that this reinforces the respect they have for my talent,” he says. The film is targeting an August 12 release next year.
Sequels of Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani (2009) and Andaz Apna Apna (1994), are said to be on the cards. “I don’t sell brands to make money,” Santoshi retorts. “If you look at my career graph, you’ll realise that I’ve never repeated subjects to keep the market happy. Ghayal was followed by a social, Damini, then a comedy, Andaz Apna Apna. There are no plans for Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani 2 presently but we are developing an idea for an Andaz Apna Apna sequel for mid-2011. But the priority is Power.”
Bollywood mahurats are back
One still remembers the grand mahurats of Firoz Nadiadwala’s Aawara Pagal Deewana (2002) and Deewane Hue Pagal (2005) at Hotel JW Marriott. Blame it on the economic slowdown, such announcements had become a part of Bollywood history. Now, the trend has been revived. Ram Gopal Varma had a hyped beginning for his Telugu film, Katha Screenplay Darsakatvam-Appalaraju, last month in Hyderabad. Earlier this month, Inder Kumar and Ashok Thakerai brought in their 25th year with the mahurat of Double Dhamaal, at Mehboob Studio. Today, we have Santoshi’s action thriller making a power statement.