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Sarkar 3 is still being written: Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan says that after Hrishikesh Mukherjee, he has done the maximum films with RGV. His eighth film with RGV Sarkar 3 is on planning stage, reports Roshmila Bhattacharya.

bollywood Updated: May 21, 2012 14:27 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

Last Friday, Amitabh Bachchan and Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) returned to theatres with Department, their seventh film together after Sarkar (2005), Darna Zaroori Hai (2006), Nishabdh (2007), Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (2007), Sarkar Raj (2008) and Rann (2010).

“After Hrishida (Hrishikesh Mukherjee), I’ve done the maximum films with RGV. He’s still the same person who worked with me in Sarkar seven years ago, but his approach to films changes according to the subject. He is keen to challenge himself and the artiste he works with,” points out Bachchan, admitting that there could be an eighth film soon. “He has discussed Sarkar 3 with me. It is still being written. It can only be said to be ‘happening’ after we lock the script.”

There’s been plenty of speculation that Bachchan’s character, gangster-turned-politician Sarjerao Gaikwad in Department, was modelled on Narayan Rane, Lalu Prasad Yadav and even Balasaheb Thackeray. He retorts, “This is the first time I’m hearing something like this. I was under the impression that journalism involved factual reporting. When did it also adopt the trait of grave imagination?”

His get-up in the film, since the first promos were aired, has sparked off comparisons with the dhoti-kurta look in Sarkar. The actor insists that the design and characteristics came from RGV and he merely executed them. “The voice, on which there has been some comment, came out of a cold I had on the first day of shoot. No special effort went into it,” he smiles.

If approached, would he be the face for the city’s cops? Says Bachchan, “I have, on many an occasions, voluntarily offered to be part of any campaign that the Mumbai Police may want to execute and the offer remains. In fact, some time ago, I’d discussed a film with an Additional Police Commissioner of Traffic for educating motorists and pedestrians on the correct traffic regulations. I’m even willing to fund such a film.”

Excerpts from interview:

Your Department co-star Sanjay Dutt says our cops need a pay hike. Do you agree?
I have great respect for the uniform. I have been a part of the annual police awards and made some nominal financial contributions. I endorse Sanjay’s demand for a pay hike. For what they contribute to society, in terms of service and protection, they deserve a lot more and I will strongly recommend it. Financial security for them and their families is a must, given the constant risk to their personal security.

And your take on morality issues that can sometimes conflict with duty?
We have some of the finest personnel in the country for the job. Their selection and training is thorough and honourable. It is only after they get appointed that issues that sometimes are not commensurate with what they have been trained for can crop up.
I’m not conversant with what these are, other than the various episodes often highlighted through the media and the public at large.

But just because their motto is ‘in the service of the community’, does not mean that they should be made responsible for all that ails our system. We owe them some services too, as citizens. As keepers of the law, they deserve our respect and better living conditions. Give them that and an efficient machinery will be at work.

Yes, there are some bad sheep, but they are there in every institution. Whenever I am abroad, I draw my impressions of a country from how the police looks, operates and conduct itself and how the traffic moves. I would want any tourist in India to have similar impressions.

How different is Department from the other films you have done with Ram Gopal Varma?
Besides giving me an opportunity to play a character with a different attitude, Department was a technical revelation as well. The use of several cameras of an advanced 5D model was interesting for me as an actor and as a curious observer. Cinema has moved from 35mm and 70mm to stereophonic, panasonic and 3D.

RGV has tried to present his subject and subjects in 5D and enhanced cameras in an attempt to do something different. Unless you tread a path unknown, how will you ever know whether it was good or bad? There was no regular Director Of Photography (DOP) and no paraphernalia that one normally sees at film shoots.

It is just the natural light and the artistes playing themselves, or rather, among themselves. We had no idea where the camera was, how it was operating and even what it was capturing. Many find the method odd and unconventional, but I found it revolutionary shooting a film without a recognised DOP. It’s an experience that could be adapted quite extensively,perhaps in the future.

First Published: May 21, 2012 11:48 IST