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/ Amitabh Bachchan
Big B: Akshay's a shrewd rascal!
April 22, 2005
Amitabh Bachchan reunites with Akshay Kumar for the fifth time after Aankhen, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon, Ek Rishta: The Bond Of Love and Khakee, in Vipul Amrutlal Shah's Waqt: The Race Against Time.
Bachchan talks about his upcoming film, detailing the plot of the film, and discussing, among others, his co-star Akshay Kumar. Excerpts:
When there is a family, there will be a conflict. If there is a film, if there is a story, there will be a conflict. There cannot be a story without a conflict. Every story has to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Waqt has the same thing.
Special: Showcasing Waqt
When you have characters like father, mother, son, daughter in law, the story has to be weaved around their emotions. What they feel, differences of opinions, different ideas, different thoughts, 'what is the solution?' -- these are some of the things that happen in any family drama. And this is no different.
But I think the way it has been treated, and the way the issues have been brought up, that's what makes it, perhaps, a little different from the others. In what way it is different is something that I can't tell you, because to say that I would have to tell you the story, and that is not correct at this point. Go watch the film!
The film is based on a Gujarati play, and when I watched it, I was attracted to just these facts -- how these relationships have been built up; and how the interactions, the situations, are brought up; what the characters do, how they behave; the events that take place; and the eventual solution.
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The plot, in summation, is like this: The son is spoilt by the father. This is because the father has come up from very humble beginnings, and he gives a lot of companionship to his son. They move around together, they go to discos together, party, have a good time. He's always spoiling the son. Whatever the son wants, the father gives freely.
Now, the mother doesn't like this. Obviously, she wants the son to be standing on his own feet. So this causes the conflict. And eventually the father, at the insistence of the mother, asks the son to leave the house. He (the father) asks him to go and live in the servant's quarters. Which is basically his way of trying to tell him, 'that's what you're worth. And until you work your way up from there, whether it's (by) cleaning the floor or sweeping the garden, you are not going to get admission into the main building.'
And so this forms a very interesting screenplay about how the son endeavours (to accomplish this). The son has a wife, played by Priyanka Chopra, and the film is about how the son has to work his way up, to gain favour in the eyes of the father.
The film is really funny in many places. And yes, obviously, quite emotional.
Akshay is a very good actor, and, along with that, he's also a bit of a shrewd rascal. He's very good at sleight of hand, so when you shake hands with him, often you'll see that your watch or your rings go missing! You wouldn't even know it. So when we (the rest of us) go on the sets, we keep our valuables -- rings, wristwatch, necklace -- aside before starting the shoot. He's a jolly, happy-go-lucky fellow, given to a lot of jokes.
Vipul (Shah) is a fine director. He knows the craft very well, and the fact that he was an actor himself really helps him extract good performances from his cast. He acts out what he'd like us to do, and, because he's acted himself, has the sensitivity to communicate with actors. He is especially well versed with editing, and this is a knowledge every director needs to have.
Several times, on a big set like we had for Waqt, Vipul would save time by shooting the scenes out of chronological order, because he had the editing so well sequenced beforehand – we could shoot all the shots in one particular set and sequence in one go.
My character is of the father, I'm a strict father. Strict in the sense that he wants to create a great relationship with his son and have a good time; very lenient towards the son. Eventually -- because the mother wants the son to be independent -- he's committed to making the son work. So the film is also about the conflict within him.
He doesn't really want to be rude to the son but he has to be, because he feels that unless he's rude the son is not going to learn anything. So his behaviour is made to be harsh and rude, and that's how it transpires.
I don't think there is any need to draw parallels with my character and my personal life. Why? Why should one relate to the character? I'll just act the way I'm asked to act. I don't mix personal life with my work.
As told to Raja Sen
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