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Courtesy: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Bihari babu Shatrughan Sinha will be acting in a Bhojpuri film for the second time (his first being Bihari Babu).
Sinha will play the title role of Raja Thakur, produced and directed by Tinnu Verma (producer-director of hit Bhojpuri film, Dhartiputra). Raja Thakur also stars Manoj Tiwari, Dr Wajaad Karim and Verma himself essaying the villain's role.
Modern-day Robin Hood
We spoke to Sinha (currently in Delhi attending the Parliament session), "It's true that I have signed Raja Thakur," confirms Sinha. "Bhojpuri is my weakness, as it is my mother tongue. I did my first Bhojpuri film, Bihari Babu, long back.
It was a title conferred on me by the people. I did the film as a tribute to my mother, my mother tongue and my mother state. I said yes to Raja Thakur as, apart from being the title role, I can identify with it. It's a modern day Robin Hood - a very kind, strong and powerful man, who is also a do-gooder. Raja Thakur is important and potent, is against injustice and stands by his commitments."
Says Verma, "It's a love story about three thakurs - Raja Thakur (Shatrughan Sinha), Bhanu Pratap Singh (Dr Wajaad Karim) and Vikram Singh (Tinnu Verma), their enmity and how their children fall in love and get caught up in the feud. Raja Thakur is a Robin Hood-like character, whereas Vikram is a big mafia don. Karan (Manoj Tiwari) is Bhanu Pratap's son, who falls in love with Vikram Singh's daughter."
Adds Tinnu Verma, "I have worked with Shatru saab as an action director for 25 films, but this is the first time I will be directing him. He has been giving me his suggestions for the role. I wanted him to keep his moustache and grow out his hair for the appearance, but Shatruji didn't want that. So I told him it was part of the character; that Raja Thakur had taken an oath that he would grow his hair long and not cut it till his gets his sister's dowry and her marriage doli leaves his home."
Laughs Sinha, "Yes, my hair has grown quite a bit, but it's not as long as a sardar's, or Mallika Sherawat's hair!"
Why isn't he doing more Hindi films? Says Sinha, "There is hardly any time now. I have been getting lots of offers from top producers and a couple of projects are under consideration.
My fans too keep asking me why I don't do more films. But I have socio-political commitments and have to do films according to what suits my image and the people's expectations of me. I can't be a part of the rat race any more. I signed Raja Thakur as it's a dynamic role and the Bhojpuri language is very close to my heart."
Verma adds that he was initially nervous about approaching Sinha, but after he narrated the role, "Bhabhiji (Sinha's wife, Poonam) and the children loved it".
Shooting for the film commences from February 15, at Essel Studios, Chembur, where Verma is constructing Raja Thakur's huge haveli.