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Three films in three weeks? Can't be helped: Amitabh
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
The Amitabh Bachchan festival begins this week with releases on three consecutive Fridays, all aggressive roles but all different, assures the Bollywood icon.
After Govind Nihalani's "Dev" on June 11, the Big B will be seen in Farhan Akhtar's "Lakshya" on June 18 followed by Milan Luthria's "Deewaar: Let's Bring The Heroes Home" on June 25.
"It can't be helped," says the superstar.
"Such overlapping is bound to happen more frequently because now I'm playing character roles. And they take comparatively fewer days. So I can obviously accommodate more assignments."
However, Amitabh says reassuringly that he'll be seen in a different avatar in each film.
"I guess my roles in all these film are very different, though all very aggressive. The action in 'Dev' is very internalised. As Govind Nihalani says, if 'Khakee' was an explosion, Dev is an 'implosion'. 'Deewaar' doesn't have that much of me. I'm one of the three main protagonists.
"But yes, 'Dev' does have me in a central role. I play the title role. It's a hard-hitting film. In 'Lakshya', I play a comparatively small role of an army general during the Kargil war. It isn't entirely a war film."
What excites Amitabh is the prospect of working with directors as different as Govind Nihalani, Farhan Akhtar and Milan Luthria.
"I've always been a great admirer of Govind Nihalani's work particularly 'Ardh Satya'. We've sat through several possible subjects in the past. This time he came up with a subject we both loved."
He is all praise for his "Dev" director.
"Govindji is a great all-rounder. From the direction and cinematography to the lunch on the sets... he takes care of it all. He always brings out a social reality through his cinema. He isn't afraid to pick subjects that we only whisper about."
Dismissing rumours that there were problems with Farhan Akhtar during the tough shooting in Ladakh, AB avers: "The joy and thrill of working with Farhan is immense. He's filled with novel ideas. Whatever its outcome at the box office, I know 'Lakshya' will be as refreshing as 'Dil Chahta Hai'. It's very brave of Farhan not to follow a genre he has already succeeded in.
"Karan Johar and Adi Chopra for all their talent haven't been able to move away from the genre they've embraced. I'm sure they will. 'Lakshya' has no shades of 'Dil Chahta Hai'. He's the whiz kid of our cinema. Farhan has a great sense of cinema. He wants to a make a different kind of cinema not for the sake of being different but because he believes that's the only way of going about it. If a shot requires an actor to behave in a way not seen in our cinema so far, he'll go ahead."
Milan Luthria who directs Amitabh for the first time in "Deewar" also gets a stamp of approval.
"Milan Luthria has made some polished films in the past like 'Kachche Dhaage'. He's very enthusiastic. In 'Deewaar', he has chosen a fairly complicated subject. It's a film about prisoners of war, not done before."
He also has a special word of praise for his "Deewaar" producer Gaurang Doshi.
"I must say the producer Gaurang Doshi is a very ambitious, confident man with innovative ideas. In his first production 'Aankhen' and now in 'Deewaar' he has attempted something totally unexpected. He has the derring-do and I'm glad to be in not just his first two productions, but also in his third film that he'll produce in 2005. I'm glad at least some filmmaker is repeating me in his projects."