Mani Ratnam"s much awaited film Raavan released last week after a huge promotion. The film opened with a moderate response but the lead actor Abhishek Bachchan, is already in the news, not for his role but for a controversy.
MS Balram, a former national diving champion, has claimed that the actor is lying. He said that Abhishek"s breathtaking dive off a cliff scene was done by him and not by the actor himself. The shot was used in the promotions of the movie many times as a special attraction.
The death defying stunt has turned out to be a source of trouble for the filmmaker now. The Bangalore-based diving champion Balram said that he has great respect for Abhishek and Mani Ratnam but at the same time, it is wrong to say that the actor did the stunt himself. The actor claimed that no body double was used.
Balram said that he is proud to be a part of Raavan and just wants to set the record straight. While interacting with media, the junior Bachchan claimed, “I went ahead to do the dive scenes myself even though Mani Ratnam opposed it."
An uncomfortable Balram stated, “I am not here to create any controversy or to attract publicity because personally, I am a big fan of the Bachchans. I just want Mani Ratnam sir"s movie to do well. But, it is also true that I was paid for doing the stunt and I am proud that I could do it."
Blaram claims that he was offered to do the stunt in 2008 through a friend, who worked with Mani Ratnam"s team. He now monitors the training at the Kempe Gowda Swimming Pool at Hanumanthanagar in Bangalore.
The stuntman added, “My brother Bhushan persuaded me to accept the offer. I joined the team at Hoggenakkal, where it was filmed. I had gone through many dry runs before I gave the final shot on December 19, 2008."
The truth is best known by the team of Raavan but the audience must have enjoyed the excellent diving scene from a high cliff!