New Delhi, When Ashutosh Gowariker read a book based on the 1930s Chittagong uprising against the British, he made two decisions – to make a film and to cast Abhishek Bachchan in it because of the actor’s “strong and towering personality”.
Gowariker has set about accomplishing both with his latest venture, “Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se”.
“I had a very faint idea of the Chittagong uprising (the area is now in Bangladesh) because I remember reading just a line about it in school. I didn’t know much at all,” Ashutosh told IANS over phone from Goa where he was working on the sets of the film.
“So when I was reading Manini Chatterjee’s book ‘Do and Die’, I realised the many facets of that revolution and decided instantly to make a film on it.”
This will be Gowariker’s second movie to be inspired by a book, the first being his recently released “What’s Your Rashee?”.
“It’s not just about books. It’s about books that influence me. ‘Kimball Ravenswood’ by Madhu Rye left a strong impact on me and that is why I decided to make ‘What’s Your Rashee?’ and that is the same reason why I am making one on ‘Do and Die’,” he said.
He refused to divulge any details about the film, but said his decision to cast Abhishek as freedom fighter Surya Sen, the chief architect of the anti-British freedom movement in Chittagong, didn’t take any time at all.
“I decided on Abhishek right away. I could think of Abhishek even while reading the book because of his strong and towering personality,” said Gowariker.
The female lead will be played by southern beauty Asin Thottumkal who made her Bollywood debut opposite Aamir Khan in “Ghajini”.
Asked if he had roped in historians to capture the nitty-gritty of the revolution to avoid any factual controversies like the ones he faced over historical epic “Jodhaa Akbar”, Gowariker said: “I worked on the smallest of details in ‘What’s Your Rashee?’ also.
“As filmmakers, we always check facts but regardless of any amount of research, there will always be a section of society that will raise concerns – that’s just our nation and we can’t really do anything about it.
“Other than that, for ‘Khelein Hum…’ I have the strongest person for the story on my side – the author herself, Manini Chatterjee.”
The movie, which is Gowariker’s next period film after the Oscar entry “Lagaan”, will go on the floors next month.