Indian cinema had not witnessed the talented duo of Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Amitabh Bahchchan for a bracket of 30 long years! The two have now come together in Chopra’s directorial ‘dream’ venture Eklavya — The Royal Guard.
The movie, which was completed last year itself, is slated to release on the 16th of February this year. Vidhu has been so overwhelmed by Amitabh Bachchan’s performance that he publicly stated that AB deserved much more than accolades. So on Wednesday, February 07, Chopra presented Bachchan with a very special gift as a token of appreciation. He gifted Bachchan a spectacular silver Phantom Rolls Royce, which was delivered at Janak — his Juhu office in Mumbai today. Chopra was quoted saying that Mr. Bachchan’s performance deserved special acknowledgement — what else would have made a better gift for a person who is passionate about cars? It is rumoured that AB liked Chopra’s script so much that he decided to do the film without taking any compensation for it. This could be another reason Vidhu gifted him a Rolls Royce!
Eklavya — The Royal Guard is the latest project under the banner of Vinod Chopra Films. The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Vidya Balan, Boman Irani, Jimmy Sheirgill, Raima Sen & Sharmila Tagore. AB plays the title role of Eklavya — a guard who has been appointed to protect the royal bloodline. Chopra has proclaimed that AB’s performance in Eklavya is the best that Bollywood has ever seen of AB.
Chopra is so smitten by Bachchan that he has signed him for several projects in the future. Vidhu is making a movie named Talisman which will feature AB. This movie was earlier titled Chandrakanta, but the name was eventually changed. It is being directed by Ram Madhvani, and is supposed to be a fantastical film. Ram Madhvani had made a small film called Let’s Talk in 2002 that starred Boman Irani. According to Vidhu, “Talisman is a fantasy; it is Indian’s reply to Lord of the Rings. It is really something that is very huge.”
What’s interesting is that they have even shot the trailer of Talisman and it will be shown with Eklavya in theatres. Chopra had used a similar strategy earlier where he shot trailers of Lagey Raho Munnabhai and Eklavya even before the movie went on floors and showcased those trailers during Parineeta. Apart from Talisman, he will also be showing the trailer of Munnabhai Chale Amrica — the third in the Munnabhai series with Eklavya. That makes Eklavya all the more anticipated.
Finally when we ask him about his ambitious project Move 5 which he had planned with Amitabh Bachchan even before Eklavya, Vidhu replies, “The film is surely on. But it will now be called 64 Squares”. If one remembers Move 5 is based on the game of chess.
That justifies the title 64 Squares. With so much on his plate, Vidhu is sure to escalate to dizzying heights of success in Bollywood.