Exasperated beyond belief, Prakash says, “I don’t know where this rumour started. And now the newspapers are reporting it. My new film is about the Naxal movement. But my film has got absolutely nothing to do with Ko. It’s an original subject. In fact I’m away from Mumbai right now writing the film.”
In Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuha, which the director starts shooting in a month, Abhishek Bachchan is cast as a Naxalite. It’s the biggest challenge of the young actor’s career and one for which he has started preparing. Jha has recommended Naxal literature to Abhishek. This is probably the first film since Mani Ratnam’s Guru for which Abhishek has undertaken extensive research.
The shooting will take place in Prakash’s patent location Bhopal, and in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh.
The director was actually supposed to start a film Satyagrah with Abhishek’s father and the director’s favourite actor Ajay Devgn in January. Apparently, that film was postponed to the second-half of 2012 because of the unavailability of Devgn’s dates.
Protests Prakash, “In fact I had Ajay’s dates from July since he finishes Son Of Sardar by then. But my film can’t be shot in the rains. I’ve to shoot Satyagrah in winter, so we’re shooting it in November and December 2012.”
This is the first year in his career when Prakash Jha would be directing two films. “And both are tough to shoot, not because of the big cast but because the films take up issues that need very careful handling,” says Jha.
While Chakravyuha is about the Naxalite movement, Satyagrah deals with politics and corruption.
Prakash Jha was aware that Basu Chatterjee had made a film called Chakravyuha back in 1978. He recently met Basu-da who in his habitually affable way said, ‘Han han le lo le lo’. But Prakash was taken aback when he got to know another producer had registered the title Ek Aur Chakravyuha.”
Says Prakash, “Chakravyuha is the best and only appropriate title for my film. I can’t think of calling it by any other name. Fortunately we have the title now.”