Eighteen years after Agneepath, a Marathi film named after its lead character — Vijay Dinanath Chauhan — has just been completed.
It is learnt that the film will take up cudgels on behaf of the Agneepath hero Amitabh Bachchan. The filmmakers, it seems, were upset by what they call “the recent anti-Bachchan wave in Maharashtra.”
Written and produced by Mehmood Ali, and directed by Shailendra Singh Rajput, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan is intended as a satire.
Angry young men
According to Ali, “We feel that some things are just not right but we can’t openly comment on them. See, an actor is loved for his work. But in reality, an actor is a different person from the various characters he portrays. We should distinguish between the two and appreciate the actor’s good qualities. Just like good triumphs over evil in the movies, we must not be swayed by negativity.”
In a retort perhaps to Kamal Haasan who has played multiple characters in a recent film, lead actor Ashok Shinde will portray as many as 18 different avatars of Bachchan from films like Sholay, Deewar, Sharabi, Coolie and of course, Agneepath.
Ali says he chose to name his film Vijay Dinanath Chauhan also because Bachchan won the Best Actor National Award for his performance in Agneepath.
Ali has also written to Bachchan, requesting him to do a special appearance. “I thought I would write to him after I’m almost through with the shooting. So I wrote to him four days ago, telling him about the film and why am I making it, before requesting him for the special appearance,” says an excited Ali.
The film also touches on farmers’ problems. Ali narrates, “Vijay’s father Dinanath, played by Mohan Joshi is a farmer burdened by debts. Meanwhile, Vijay’s obsession with his idol is so intense that he emulates Bachchan’s screen persona to solve his real life situations.”
But what if the film runs into a political controversy? To that the film producer replies coolly, “Jo hoga dekha jaayega.”