Filmmaker Apoorva Lakhia clears the air on the controveries that surround the remaking of Zanjeer, his proximity to the Bachchans and lots more
Apoorva Lakhia’s last few films have not exactly hit the jackpot at the BO, but he believes in moving on. Currently, he is all set to direct the remake of Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer. To direct a remake of an iconic film that made Amitabh Bachchan Bollywood’s ‘angry young man’ is no easy task. Excerpts from an interview:
Southern superstar Ram Charan Tej is going to reprise Amitabh Bachchan’s role in the new Zanjeer. Do you feel the audiences will connect to him? Isn’t it a big risk? There are hardly any young actors in Bollywood today who want to do action films. When I saw Ram Charan (Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi’s son) in Magadheera, I was impressed with his action scenes. Not many people know about him, but even Chiranjeevi was not known until he acted in Pratibandh (1990) film that went on to become a superhit. In a way it’s good, because the audience will not expect anything from him.
Do you feel the remake will evoke unnecessary comparisons? Many youngsters today would not have seen the original Zanjeer. When you are offered a film, you think of how differently you can treat the film. In India cop films can be either like Zanjeer or Ardh Satya. The script has also been improvised. Like Jayaji’s character is not about chappa-churi and Amitabh Bachchan’s character has also been improvised.
The film is involved in a controversy now with Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar expressing disappointment over not informing them earlier about the film. Would they get their royalty? l I personally can’t comment on it. Amit (Prakash Mehra’s son) who is the producer of the film will take this matter forward. Who am I to comment on this? At the end of the day, I am just a paid employee.
There are talks that Amitabh Bachchan will do a cameo in the film? It would be my privilege if Mr Amitabh Bachchan agrees to do a cameo, and even Pransaab and Binduji if they agree. The Bachchan family has been supportive of me. I was sitting at home for three years doing nothing after Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost flopped, when Amitabhji told me that I should do a film with him and we did Ek Ajnabee.
You are known to have good friends in the industry, like the Bachchans, Suniel Shetty and Sanjay Dutt. We have a mutual respect for each other, and we believe in being honest with each other. That’s how I maintain my friendships.
What do you have to say about films that make money at the BO but are generally slotted as ‘timepass’ films? Tell me which entertainment activity today in the country is not ‘timepass’? Whether it is IPL, fashion shows or anything else. There used to be one or two fashion weeks earlier, now we have 18 fashion weeks in six months. So wouldn’t the reason behind them only be about ‘timepass’ entertainment. If time-pass movies are able to garner the kind of money that helps the film industry become bigger, then why not?