Ever since Emraan Hashmi’s next with director Kunal Deshmukh has been announced, there has been speculation that his character in the film is based on the life of conman Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava aka Natwarlal from Bihar.
Emraan Hashmi in a still from Raja Natwarlal.
But Kunal clarifies saying his film isn’t based on Natwarlal. He says, “Emraan plays a street-hustler — Raja — in the film, who aspires to be a big conman like Natwarlal.”
When asked why then the film is called Raja Natwarlal, Kunal says, “It’s for some different reasons. For any conman in India, Natwarlal is an idol and Raja has similar aspirations. That is the reason behind the title. Apart from that, there is no connection to the life of Natwarlal.”
For the uninitiated, Natwarlal went on to ‘sell’ the Taj Mahal and the Indian Parliament. He reportedly went to jail nine times and managed to escape on eight occasions.
Even last year, reports were rife that Akshay Kumar’s character in Neeraj Pandey’s Special 26 was modelled on Natwarlal. Reportedly, the conman was also an inspiration for Amitabh Bachchan’s action-comedy, Mr Natwarlal (1979).