After Satya, Ram Gopal Varma directs another film on Mumbai's underworld.

The difference is that while Satya was a micro view of the mafia world, Company offers a larger perspective.

Inspired by the real-life fall out between [underworld dons] Dawood Ibrahim and his righthand man Chhota Rajan, the film stars Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Manisha Koirala, Seema Biswas and Antara Mali.

Malayalam superstar Mohanlal plays the role of a police officer. His character was inspired by Mumbai's former Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) D Sivanandan.

The film is about a group of gangsters who form a company to make a profit. Differences crop up and conflicts arise. The people who had formed the company then become victims of the very system that they victimise.

Produced by Boney Kapoor, Company is a big-budget film. Boney and Ramu (as Ram Gopal Varma is fondly called in the industry), had previously made two small-budget films --- Raat and Drohi --- in 1992.

Here's what you should know about Company:


'Company is a Satya kind of film. There's no glorification of evil, everyone dies in the end'

Ajay Devgan

Initially, Varma wasn't sure whether Devgan, with his lazy air and intense eyes, would fit in well as a polished, powerful gangster in Company. It turns out that after working with him, Ramu cannot imagine the film without Devgan.

Role: Devgan (Malik) is a suave and powerful gangster. His character is inspired by [underworld don] Dawood Ibrahim.


'I am only going for great roles which challenge me as a performer. Company is one such film'

Manisha Koirala

Known as a sensitive actress who fits into any role easily. Her recent films like Lajja (where she played an unhappy wife), and Abhay (where she played an eccentric celebrity) are proof. She will also soon portray a real-life character in Ujjal Chattopadhyay's Escape From Taliban.

Role: Manisha (Saroja) plays Ajay's love interest, a free-spirited woman who lives her life on her own terms.


'I've given Company my best shot. Everything else just seemed to happen pretty much on its own'

Vivek Oberoi

Did you know that Vivek Oberoi was a professional dubbing artiste for six years? And that he was offered a supporting role in Ram Gopal Varma's earlier film Jungle? He declined because he wanted something better!

Suresh Oberoi's son, Vivek has done an acting course in New York. He has also trained in horse riding and gymnastics.

The year 2002 sees him busy with Shaad Ali's Saathiya, co-produced by Yash Chopra and Mani Ratnam, Rajat Mukherjee's Road, produced by Ram Gopal Varma, E Niwas's Dum, Cineyug's film and a film with Vinod Chopra.

Role: Chandu Nagre (Vivek Oberoi) is inspired by [underworld don] Chhota Rajan. He plays righthand man and best friend to Ajay Devgan. Later, the two become bitter enemies.


'I did a lot of homework for my role in Company -- clothes, body language and the way she speaks'

Antara Mali

Daughter of celebrity photographer Jagdish Mali, Antara had played a bit role in Ram Gopal Varma's Mast. She is also the female lead in Varma's next film, Road, directed by Rajat Mukherjee.

Role: She plays Kannu, Vivek Oberoi's distraught wife.


'I'd also read about his style of filmmaking. So when he contacted me, I agreed'


Winner of three National Awards (Kireedam in 1989, Bharatham in 1991 and Vaanaprastham in 1999), Malayalam star Mohanlal is a powerhouse of talent. He debuts in Hindi cinema with Company.

Role: He plays Srinivasan, a Mumbai police officer.


'While dubbing for Company, I was astounded by what I saw. All I could say was, 'My God! It's too good'

Seema Biswas

Biswas won rave reviews for her role as Phoolan Devi in Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen, then as a mute woman in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Khamoshi -- The Musical, and Govind Nihalani's Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa.

Role: Biswas plays Vivek Oberoi's mother, who always encourages her son to do better than the best.


'In Company, I am a hit man'

Vijay Raaz

This character artiste has worked in Varma's Jungle, Mahesh Mathai's Bhopal Express and became popular with Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding.

Raaz was associated with the National School of Drama, Delhi. It was there that [actor] Naseeruddin Shah noticed him and recommended him for Bhopal Express and then Monsoon Wedding. The year 2002 is busy for the actor, with Boney Kapoor's Shakti, Firoz Nadiadwala's Awaara Paagal Deewana, and Pammi Sandhu's next venture.

Role: Raaz plays a Sikh in Company. As he observes, 'I don't think any film has shown a Sardar in the underworld.'


Design: Uday Kuckian
Compiled by Sukanya Verma and Ronjita Kulkarni

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