“I am playing Virendra Pratap Singh. My role is almost like Duryodhana in Mahabharata,” Manoj told IANS.
“Duryodhana always felt he had inherited the power his father had. He is regal; he is somebody who is not cheap. He is someone who will not let things go so easily. He is one whose mind is politically motivated and can go to any extent to get things done. This is what gives him high and nothing else,” the actor said.
Manoj, known for his power-packed performances in movies like “Satya”, “Zubeidaa”, “Kaun” and “Pinjar”, adds that every character in the film directed by Prakash Jha has grey shades.
“That is the beauty of the Mahabharata too. No one is pure in the Mahabharata and that is the message of the Mahabharata and that is the message of this film too. Everyone is doing his or her duty, everyone is making mistakes and at the same time everyone is a good human being,” he said.
Apart from Manoj, the dark political drama also stars talented performers like Ajay Devgn, Naseeruddin Shah, Nana Patekar, Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.
Manoj says audiences will be able to relate to various incidents in the movie.
“The story of ‘Raajneeti’ resembles the politics of each and every state of our country. We all love to discuss politics. We love to discuss each and every government policy. Love to appreciate or criticise some (political) figure or (government) policy.”
“As an Indian we love to think that we are better than the representatives we have voted for. I think this film has done justice to the subject it has taken as it has gone deep into the issue it is dealing with,” he said.
He says Jha deals with the “thirst for power” in the movie.
“Politics starts with that and ends with that in our country. This is the politics you are subjected to in daily life; so you will surely be able to identify with some incident or the other,” he added.
The actor is known for choosing his character names in a few of his films. So, did he choose Virendra Pratap Singh for his character in “Raajneeti” too?
“(Laughs) Prakash Jha has a fertile mind. He has a great grip on the issue. He already had the fantastic idea about who should be named what,” said Manoj.
“I have borrowed the look and character of someone I know personally. He is a non-political person,” the actor added.
He is all praise for Katrina’s hard work in the political thriller.
“Katrina is representing the change in politics in the film. She has really put in lots of hard work. She has done her dubbing also…I really enjoyed her company,” said Manoj.
Asked about his views on politics, he said: “I am apolitical. I have been brought up in a fashion where reading newspapers and watching news channels were a daily routine. I maintain that even today, so that I have an idea about what’s happening in our country. Prakash-ji has contested elections; so we often discussed politics on the sets.”
“Raajneeti” is slated for a June 4 release.