Can two A-league stars be best friends? It would appear so: Say hello to Abhishek Bachchan and his buddy AJ, aka Ajay Devgn.
The Bol Bachchan leads made no secret of their camaraderie during a press junket in Dubai on Saturday. Ask Bachchan about shielding his seven-month-old daughter, Aaradhya, from the paparazzi, and it’s his pal who jumps to his defence.
“Can I please answer that? There’s no secrecy there,” says Devgn. “He’s just being a parent. Wouldn’t you want the same for your daughter?”
He adds that he shielded his daughter, Nyasa, for as long as possible. “If you ask me, keep them in the dark and away from the flash bulbs for the first three months entirely.”
The two star in Bol Bachchan, a comedy filled with witty dialogue, loud characters and colourful dance numbers. Set in Rajasthan, the film, by sure-fire director Rohit Shetty of Singham fame, releases in the UAE tomorrow.
Devgn plays village honcho Prithviraj Raghuvanshi, a man famous for his zero tolerance to liars. Enter Delhi-ite Abbas Ali (Bachchan) and his sister Sania (Asin), who is forced to lie about his identity. What follows next is a series of goofs, identity swaps and funny twists. Another winning factor for this film could be Raghuvanshi’s faulty English.
“For some weird reason, AJ in the film thinks that he speaks good English,” says Bachchan. “So the Hindi proverb ‘tujhe paakar meri chhaati aur bhi choudi ho gayi hai’ [my heart swells with pride], becomes ‘my chest has become blouse’. Watch out for him. He’s superb in the film.”
This makes it perfect for spoofs, such as the YouTube video featuring the characters from Ice Age with voice overs of Bol Bachchan dialogue.
The duo are already hinting at the possibility of a sequel.
“Why not? If the 60-plus witty lines work, then the credit for the sequel would have to go to the scriptwriters,” says Bachchan.
In the company of these two boisterous boys, the speak-when-you-are-spoken-to leading ladies Asin and Prachi Desai left it to them to do all the talking during an interview. Excerpts:
Why we should watch Bol Bachchan:
“We get asked this question a lot. But I firmly believe that if you are asking the question, then we haven’t done a good job so far with the first look. If the trailers appeal to you, then you would head to the theatres to watch it. Actors can’t force the audiences to go into the theatres. If there’s only one thing good about the film, then you shouldn’t have made the film in the first place. Having said that, Bol Bachchan is a complete entertainer, which you can [watch] with your family. I promise, you are going to laugh a lot. In [these] times of strife that we live in, it’s always nice to unwind. Plus, it’s very warm outside, so why don’t you get into an air-conditioned theatre, get some good popcorn or samosas and enjoy yourself?”
About his distinctly effeminate pose in the film’s poster:
“I play dual roles in this film. One of them is a kathak dancer employed by Ajay to teach his younger sister, [played by] Prachi, some kathak moves. So, when the script was narrated to me, we just came up with the idea that a kathak dancer should have a bit of an effeminate vibe to him. I am not one of those people who will ever be comfortable mocking or making caricatures of the stereotypes attached to any community. I did a film, Dostana, around four years ago — nowhere in the film did we make fun of homosexuals or the stereotypes attached to them. In Bol Bachchan, he has a lilt to his walk. But that’s it. There’s no attempt at mockery.”
Bol Bachchan being a make-or-break film in his unsteady career:
“Every film for every actor is a make-or-break film. I believe every film has the power to break you or make you. So, an actor will treat every film like his last film. That’s the way we need to work and that’s the way you can drum up that passion needed to do good work. That’s why you wake up at 4.30am and don’t sleep [he wore huge sunglasses to cover his tired eyes]. We need to treat every film like it’s the most important film of [our] career.”
Dancing with his father Amitabh Bachchan in an item song:
“My father did the song just six weeks ago. It was more of an after-thought and a cameo. I did not sign the film because he was in the film. But the experience was fun and you can see that we all enjoyed it immensely by just looking at the way the song has turned out.”
“The term is a slang for a person who spins tall tales. Though we have purchased the rights from the original 1979 Golmaal, our film is not a remake. We have kept in mind that the times have changed and that the audience’s taste [has] changed with the times too.”
Playing a loud and colourful character:
“That’s Bollywood for you. I don’t like that term, but our audiences love the song, dance and colour. We are a loud race by nature and we are not very subtle. We love the pomp and the pageantry. You want to see a subtle, classy film, then you have Hollywood. By classy, I mean we can’t match their budgets.”
An Ice Age 4 spoof on YouTube where Devgn and Bachchan are seen doing voice-overs for Sid and Manny with their one-liners from Bol Bachchan:
“We love it. It’s hilarious.” Bachchan adds: “It’s such a fantastic compliment to see these iconic Ice Age characters mouth Hindi dialogues and it’s always good to know that we resemble those characters.”
The controversy about Bol Bachchan production house Ashtavinayak not settling their bills with producer Raju Shah:
“The legal case between Ashtavinayak and Raju Shah has nothing to do with Bol Bachchan. It’s a personal issue between them, the rights of our film are with Fox Star Studios.”
“He’s a legend. I learn something new with every interaction with him.”
If our interactions in Dubai for Bol Bachchan were anything to go by, the film’s leading ladies Asin and Prachi will have a tough time getting noticed in the company of their witty and charismatic leading men. As Asin put it: “It’s pretty much their film. But it’s incomplete without us. We have good [roles] in the film. It’s not just song and dance.”
The two actresses were forced to stick together to survive the mild bullying from their heros. “The trinity of the villains had us terrorised and survival was only possible by Prachi and I sticking close together,” added Asin.