Playing Kejriwal

How do married actors tackle major screen roles? With a lot of help from their spouses. V GANGADHAR tells us how.

Playing Kejriwal

Bollywood is becoming more and more true to life with movies on terrorism, political corruption, police brutality and so on. It was no surprise that in ‘Satyagraha’, the forthcoming production of Prakash Jha, Ajay Devgn is playing anti-corruption crusader, Arvind Kejriwal.

Like other well-known star couple, Ajay who is taking the assignment seriously, often discussed the role with his talented actor-wife, Kajol even at the breakfast table.

Kajol: What are these reams and reams of paper? Why do you have to bring them to the breakfast table?

Ajay: You know how Prakashji works, this is the complete script of ‘satyagraha’. You know I am playing Arvind Kejriwal.

Kajol: A casting coup, I should say. Both of you look like railway porters, you don’t need special make up or outfits for this role. Prakashji can save some money. What are those sheets of paper? The Script?

Ajay: Yes, normally it comes in bound volumes.  But in this film, my dialogue is different. At every scene I appear. I just have to shout the names of leading industrialists and moneyed people and accuse them of being corrupt. But I have to shout really loud, in front of studio audiences, make -shift TV studios and so on. It was worse than mugging up for college examinations.

Kajol: Give me the sheets, let us hear how you recite the dialogue.

Ajay (clearing his throat): Bhaiyon, baheno, mediawale logon…Ae sab paisewale log corrupt hain…Anil Ambani, Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Cyrus Mistry, Rahul Bajaj, the Mittals, the Ruias, the TVS people, the Kirloskars, the Dhoots…sab corrupt hain…Mein un logon ko nahin chodoonga!

Kajol: Rather stereotyped, more of a recitation than filmy dialogue?

Ajay: No, no, it all depends on the situation. In some scenes, I sing these lines. At nightclub scenes, I sing and dance to these lines. Listen to this ‘O kala paisa, Mukesh, Anil aur sub paisewale ke pas Swiss account hain…Ae log kali kapde ko nahin launder karte hain, paise ko bhi launder karte hain. I deliver this song cum dialogue standing in front of a big laundry. Dekhna, kitna taali milta hain…

Kajol: Has Prakashji planned any location shooting?

Ajay: Ha, what do you think. We are shooting 21 days in Switzerland in front of all leading banks and also World Bank and something called IMF. Shooting schedules also cover the Cayman Islands, Miami, Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, Singapore, Brunei and every other money centre. I have a couple of song and dance sequences inside the leading Las Vegas casinos. O, they will bring the house down.

Kajol: You have stiff competition in the film. Isn’t Amitabh Bachchan playing the role of Anna Hazare? Be careful he did not get all the plum lines and walk away with acting laurels. As Anna Hazare, I guess, he would be shown fasting most of the time.

Ajay: (with a smile) You are in for a surprise. Yes, normally Annaji was associated with fasting. But Amitji’s doctors did not favour him fasting due to health reasons. We changed the script, to demonstrate his unity with our movement, this Anna Hazare, will not be shown fasting. His protest would be registered in frequent overeating and falling sick. In most of the vital scenes, he will be shown gorging and then rushing to the loo. One of the highlights of the film is a dance sequence outside the loo in the Swiss Alps. The ordeal clearly brings out Annaji’s devotion to the anti-corruption cause.

Kajol: This anti corruption crusade is rather unusual, to say the least.

Ajay: But most original. You know Anna demanded flogging for those who drink. The best scene in the film is when I and Anna barge into a bar and tied up customers to be flogged. During the process Anna had to answer several nature’s calls and how he managed the flogging along with this…O, Amitji was unbelievable.

Kajol: I hope Prakashji did not forget the corruption element amidst all the fun.

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