Now playing a stranger
People have seen him as an angry young man, Apoorva Lakhia is presenting Amitabh Bachchan as an angry old man in "Ek Ajnabee", this Friday.
"I wanted him to do action for people haven't seen him in action scenes for quite some time. He agreed within 15 minutes, but it took 18 months to get his dates," says the young director, who started his career by assisting in Hollywood flicks like "Die Hard-3". His fascination can be gauged from the fact that he wrote the script after getting Bachchan's dates.
In the film, shot in Bangkok, Bachchan is playing an ex-army man who gets the job of a bodyguard to a young girl, who eventually gets kidnapped. "We have given scenes involving knife and gunfights, and there is a longish karate sequence towards the end. But he is playing his age... nothing unnatural." He points out there is more to it than just action. "A major part of the film focuses on the friendship between a young kid and her old friend." A friend of Abhishek with whom he made his debut in "Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost", Apoorva says he owes it to his friend. "Otherwise why would Bachchanji do my film?"
Whoever works with Bachchan discovers something new about the phenomenon. Apoorva says he was floored by his simplicity.
"Everyday, he would ask me, `Apoorva what do you want from me?' And after listening to me for about 15 minutes, he would deliver two thousand percent more than what I expected. Most of the time, it is his silence that speaks."
As for the stunning looks, Apoorva says since people see him so often these days, he wanted to make him sport a different look. He could not have done much with the goatee, for that's part of the contract, but he has given him Gabbana suits and grey hair. "The goggles are, in fact, mine, which I bought from Melbourne. One day he tried them on his own and I found him rocking. After that we made them part of the look."
Incidentally, Apoorva has a history of following trendsetters. His "Mumbai... " followed "Lagaan" - where he was the assistant director - and now "Ek Ajnabee" is releasing a week after "Apaharan". " `Apaharan' talks of a State, we have taken it as an international problem. According to the U.N. reports, kidnapping is the second most lucrative crime after drugs."
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All is not fine
SAW IT COMING! Bejan Daruwala.
Like any other unfortunate happening, astrologers are again claiming they had predicted Amitabh Bachchan's illness well in advance.
Says Bejan Daruwala, "I predicted way back in October 2004 that Amitabh Bachchan will suffer from ill health. I mentioned in my yearbook for 2005 on pages 479 and 480 that he will be on the top till 2007 but also at the same time, will suffer from injuries, separation etc."
He predicts, "His Saturn is not good and from May 2010, he will have major problems. Though I hope, my predictions don't come true, as I love the man."
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