IN JUST 80 DAYS: ROHIT SHETY

Rohit Shetty speaks to NRI Achievers about his latest movie SINGHAM RETURNS, which is yet another sequel to the mega-successful SINGHAM, in a free-wheeling interview given to Jyothi Venkatesh at Mumbai.

How happy are you to be hailed as a successful director today in Bollywood ?

To tell the truth without sounding immodest, I am quite happy and consider myself to be very lucky that right now I am in a quality space where there is a lot of scope for innovative directors who are ready to think out of the box.

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Can you explain ?

If in the earlier era there were filmmakers like Vijay Anand, Guru Dutt etc., in our midst, I am happy that today we have with us brilliant filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani, Imtiaz Ali etc., who are making films like PK and Highway, which are different from what people generally make in Bollywood.

What according to you was the USP of SINGHAM ?

I would say the USP of the film was that it was made in the shortest span of time. It was completed in just 80 days spread over a span of just four months, thanks to teamwork. In fact, it was easier for me to handle the actors in SINGHAM, because it was not a multi-starrer, though action films take more of your energy.

It was also for the first time that you had set out to do a remake?

It is only now when there is a media explosion that people have come to know that remakes are being made, but it isn’t something that is new. Nagarjun had made the remake of
PHOOL AUR KAANTE and Chiranjeevi had made the remake of MUNNABHAI MBBS.

The Tamil original SINGHAM 2, a sequel to SINGHAM is a hit. Yet why didn’t you buy the remake rights of the Tamil hit sequel?

Yes. The Tamil remake of the sequel to Singham has been declared a huge hit all over the South. The reason we did not want to buy the rights for the remake of the Tamil hit is that I and my team came up with a better and in fact more gripping script for the sequel of my own huge hit SINGHAM. It has a different backdrop and background to that of SINGHAM 2 in Tamil.

Tell us more about SINGHAM RETURNS ?

All that I can say as of now is that while Ajay will reprise his role as the protagonist Singham Bajirao in the film, we have zeroed in on Kareena Kapoor to be part of the project since I have always considered her to be a lucky mascot for my films. We shoot for the film from March this year for almost four months non-stop in Goa and the film has been slated for release on August 15 this year.

How is Ajay as a producer ?

Ajay is one of the finest actors we have in Bollywood, who has to his credit two National Awards for ZAKHAM and SHAHEED BHAGAT SINGH. Ajay is not only a great actor and director, he is also a fabulous producer who does not interfere at all with his director, since he has this open-door policy, where every one in the unit, right from the spot boy to the director chips in with his or her own ideas, though he leaves the director the freedom to implement whatever idea her wants to incorporate in his film.

Will the film boost of stars or rank new comers, like in the Tamil version ?

SOODHU KAVVUM revolves around four misfit kidnappers, a politician’s son and a psychopathic police officer, who handles an investigation about a kidnapping case. The Hindi version will undergo extensive tweaking of the plot in the second half. Imran Khan and Shraddha Kapoor are being considered for the lead pair of the Hindi version. Kannada actor Sudeep’s name is also being proposed for the role reprised by Vijay Sethupathi in the original version.

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