|HOME | MOVIES | COLUMN|
Subhash K Jha
"Sanju has taken me by surprise in Pitaah," says Mahesh Manjrekar.
The director-actor duo have worked together right from Manjrekar's debut film Nidaan, where Dutt made a guest appearance. Later, Dutt played the lead role in the director's first major film Vaastav, for which he won awards for best actor.
So is it time for another round of awards for his role in Pitaah? Sanjay Dutt shrugs, "I don't know. But we've worked really hard on the film. Pitaah is the kind of role that I'm looking for now. I'm no longer comfortable doing big glossy, but meaningless, films."
Dutt's current lineup of films includes Sanjay Gupta's Kaante, which the actor shot in LA recently with an American crew.
The actor claims to have enjoyed the unique experience of being part of such an organised team and also the chance of working with Amitabh Bachchan. The two share a warm and mutual affection.
Dutt is also doing David Dhawan's comedy Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahin with the Big B. Dutt plays an underworld don who's obsessively besotted by the beauteous Aishwarya Rai. Bachchan plays Rai's brother who coincidentally turns out to be the psychiatrist whom Dutt is consulting about his love sickness.
Dutt lights up at the mention of his favourite actor. "Amitji is a great man. Working with him is such a pleasure. He's really happy working with David, Ajay (Devgan) and me in Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahin.
"We've taken care to Indianise the theme. Amitji plays a general doctor, instead of a psychiatrist. I fall in love with Amitji's sister, played by Aishawrya Rai, though he doesn't know about it. It's love at first sight for my character. I start seeing Aishwarya all over the place, in my dreams, on television, everywhere."
Dutt says he's having a ball working on the comedy. Ironically, the role of the underworld gangster doesn't seem to leave him even in a comedy. From JP Dutta's Hathyar in the 1980s to his forthcoming Pratibimb, the actor has played a gangster umpteen number of times.
The sequel to Vaastav, Pratibimb sees Dutt as the son of the character he played in the former.
Meanwhile, Dutt's final court hearing for his TADA cases took place in December. Six months later, after the final judgement, he may be a free man.
"I hope this is the last of my troubles," he sighs. "It's been nine years since my legal problems began. I just want to be a free man again. I've been working too hard. I want some time for myself now. I'm cutting down on my assignments. Today, it's important for me to be in films where my performance gets noticed.
"Right now, I'm looking forward to how the audience reacts to Pitaah. It's set in rural India and deals with the problems of a family in a village and how they're exploited. I play a man of my age with two children."
The 43-year-old feels that it's essential for him to play his age. "That's why I did Mission Kashmir, where I had to age from 35 to about 55 years. There's nothing wrong in playing a father onscreen."
In real life, he remains separated from his daughter. "The judge in the US told me not to uproot Trishala from her natural surroundings. She's got her studies, school, friends and her life there. I had brought her down once and she had demanded stuff like Dominoes pizza which she's used to there. That scared me, so I decided to let her be in the United States.
"Whenever I go there, I can take her anywhere I like with me. I make it a point to visit her at least three or four times a year. As she's happy where she is, I'm happy too."
ASTROLOGY | BROADBAND | CONTESTS | E-CARDS | ROMANCE | WOMEN | WEDDING
SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL| MESSENGER | FEEDBACK