After Govinda signed up for Mani Ratnam’s modern-day version of the
, speculations about what his character in the film would be like have been taking the rounds. The actor is reportedly playing a character, modelled on Hanuman. He will be seen playing a forest officer who helps Vikram’s character Dev to hunt for his wife, Ragini (played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), who has been abducted by Beera (Abhishek Bachchan).
Reportedly, Ratnam, miffed with Govinda’s tardiness, altered his scenes, and the actor was aghast to learn that his part had been abruptly chopped. The actor’s absence at the music launch in May, compounded the speculation that there was something awry between the actor and the director.
Ratnam denies trimming the actor’s role: “Govinda’s role has shaped up amazingly in context of the storyline.”
When asked why he cast the actor in the forest officer’s role, Ratnam explains, “Sometimes we cast faces against the image. When you’re putting the cast together, you realise that for a certain role with limited screen time, a star will be essential because he or she can add meat to the character. Govinda easily blended into his character.”
Ratnam points out that one has to see the film to understand his perspective behind his casting. “Govinda put in an extra effort and made the role interesting despite its screen duration. He makes a considerable impact with his performance,” the filmmaker adds.
A source close to the film says that since
was shot approximately in 200 days and every actor’s role was reduced a little to maintain the flow and rhythm of the story. “Govinda is known to speak his mind. If he had to make an issue, he would have addressed it to Mani sir. But he seemed pleased.”
According to an industry source, Govinda was overheard telling his friends at the IIFA Weekend in Colombo that he had heard great trade reports of
. “He had said that he was looking forward to seeing it. He even made statements there about his wonderful experience of working with ‘Mani Sir’,” adds our source.