The role was something up his alley. Bollywood actor Nana Patekar plays the cop yet again in film-maker Tigmanshu Dhulia's latest flick Shagird that releases in theatres across the country this Friday.
Known for making hard-hitting films like Haasil and Pan Singh Tomar, which has been well received in film festivals abroad and is due for release in India later this year, Tigmanshu describes his latest venture as an out-and-out commercial film.
Nana apart, the film also stars Anurag Kashyap, who is known for making off-beat films like Black Friday and Dev D.
Tigmanshu admits he was apprehensive when he signed the gifted but temperamental Nana for the lead role. “I had heard all kinds of negative stories about him. So when I went over to his place to narrate the story, it was with some fear and hesitation. Thankfully, everything went off well and Nana liked the story and agreed to do the film,” says Tigmanshu.
Nana plays a Delhi policeman but without the Haryanvi accent. “It would have been a blunder to ask Nana to speak in a Haryanvi accent. His is a typical Maharashtrian accent and if he had even attempted to speak in Haryanvi it would have become a mish-mash.”
Heaping fulsome praise on Nana, the film-maker says the actor is so talented that he was clueless on how to guide him. “Though I had the script, the characterisation was written in consonance with Nana. He is well acquainted with the police. In fact, he has been observing their behaviour, speaking style and mannerisms. Being a good artist, the police department in Mumbai used his services for making sketches of wanted criminals. A versatile personality, he was also a shooting champion.”
In the movie, Nana shows his witty side and enjoys listening to old Hindi film songs. “He worked as a cop in Ab Tak Chhappan but here his character is completely different,” says Tigmanshu.
Speaking about Pan Singh Tomar, the film-maker says the flick portrays why an athlete who participated in the Asian Games was compelled to become a dacoit. “The film has been appreciated at film festivals in Abu Dhabi and New York.”
Tigmanshu's upcoming film Sahib Bibi Aur Gangster releases in July.