Saturday, June 6, 2009

Akshaye in a new Priyadarshan film and it's not a comedy

A Times of India report of September 2, 2001, based on inter-caste marriage killings in Bihar and which said, ‘Falling in love is a sacrilege in Alinagar, barely 200 km from Delhi,’ apparently made a lasting impression on Bollywood’s comedy king Priyadarshan.

“The memory of that report stayed with me for eight years,” says Priyadarshan who, after working on a script for six months, is now starting a film based on the killings that had shaken the core of India. The film, to be produced by Kumar Mangat, will go on the floors in August and it will feature Ajay Devgan and Akshaye Khanna as CBI officers — one on deputation to the village, the other a local officer.

The female lead is being kept a secret, but there is indication that Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Asin are in talks with the producer. Mangat, refusing to comment on his choice of heroine, says, “Omkara brought a lot of critical acclaim to my banner. It was widely appreciated in the US and at international film festivals. I’m sure this film will also make a huge cinematic statement.”

For Priyadarshan, who has to his credit a mixed bag of films like Viraasat, Saza-e-Kala Paani, Kanjeevaram... and some brain-dead comedies like Mere Baap Pehle Aap and Garam Masala, this untitled venture is a break from his comic reign. “At least I will break away from the remake rut,” he admits candidly.

This Ajay-Akshaye film is a thriller. Priyan points out that even in this current age the barbaric caste killings continue to dominate Alinagar because here any attempt to plead the cause of love and marriage of inter-caste relationships is seen as an intrusion into their affairs.

Omkara is a great movie; it brought lot of critical acclaim to Saif although I liked Ajay better in it. Priyadarshan can make good movies if he applies himself and working with new, savvy producer like Kumar Mangat is always good for Akshaye's career and looks like he is taking up on my advice that he should insinuate into the Saif Ali slot as he's the right age and no one else is there.