Hats off to innovative director Umesh Shukla for daring to defy the Bollywood clichéd formula of having ‘lead heroines’ in movies, that too for the second time! Chances are, Shukla may repeat this feat for a third time to score a record ‘hat-trick’!
Last time, he made ‘Oh My God’ starring Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal and this time Umesh has directed the volatile yet tear-jerking ‘102 Not Out’ with mega-star Amitabh Bachchan and the evergreen Rishi Kapoor, minus any heroines. This maverick movie has proved to be huge box-office success not only with the patronage by senior citizens but even by the younger generation.
Like in the South, where post-release, most films have superstars connecting with their fan-associations and the media, out here, Amitabh, Rishi, Umesh and the writer Saumya Joshi connected with the media for a friendly analysis of feed-back and criticism. Issues like the Gujarati accent flavoured Hindi-Gujju dialogues and certain Bachchan-esque scenes which were mercilessly axed at the editing table were revealed and discussed. Also disclosed was the 12-sheets non-stop emotional scene shot in one marathon ‘take’ with ‘no cuts’ by acting virtuoso Big B, proving that ultimately, the director is the captain of the movie-ship.
When Bachchan-saab was quizzed, if he had any discreet inclinations for directing a movie in future, he was candid in his repartee. “Seriously, I don’t know direction and I won’t be able to handle it. The ‘why’s of specific movie camera placements and the camera movements have always intrigued me,” shrugged the erudite par excellence actor-singer-and-now-even-composer-arranger ‘Big B’, who has plans to set to tunes, his literary genius father, Dr. Harivansh Rai’s classy poems.