“Pachaas pachaas kos door jab koi rishvat leta hai toh log kehte hai mat le varna Gabbar ajeaga…”
It is difficult to imagine the iconic villain from Sholay mouthing this dialogue, while mincing tobacco in one hand and beating his belt on the stones with the other. However, Bollywood’s new Gabbar is anything but a villain. The long haired, beefy man with salt-and-pepper beard stands tall against every wrong. He is ‘kaam se hero’, but only ‘naam se villain’.
Akshay Kumar’s Gabbar Is Back might make you shudder as the popular soundtrack from the 1975 film Sholay plays in the background, but the actor clarifies that the film is not a sequel to the original. And in fact, the two Gabbars are as different from each other as chalk and cheese.
“There is no connection between the two Gabbars. To come to think of it, the only thing that is common between the two characters is violence. Sholay’s Gabbar inflicted violence on good people, but this Gabbar stands against the bad guys,” says Akshay Kumar.
It’s not every day that makers encash on the popular brand Gabbar in Bollywood, but director Krish says that the very first sequence of the film will establish the title of the film.
“The title of the film was suggested by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The first sequence of the film will establish the title of the film. Gabbar is a brand when it comes to bad men in Bollywood films, and Akshay’s character in the film raises his voice against corruption. And in order to achieve that, he chooses the brand Gabbar.”
Akshay, who has played a cop on 70mm numerous times, is cast as a crusader against corruption in this Hindi remake of AR Murugadoss’ Tamil film Ramana. With the country seething under the heat of this deadly issue, the actor believes that it is the need of the hour to address corruption, and also reveals that the film is not a work of fiction but is based on real incidents.
“Corruption is a big issue in India, and I liked Murugadoss’ idea of dealing with it in the film. Gabbar Is Back is based on real incidents, but we haven’t used the real names. The film is a different take on how to deal with corruption. Hats off to AR Murugadoss for writing this script 10 years back,” says Akshay.
Angry and merciless, Gabbar takes on the corrupt system and politicians in his own style in the film. He is not a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, and non-violence is definitely not his cup of tea. “Jaise lohe ko loha kaat ta hai, similarly at times, the only answer to violence is violence,” says Akshay.
The actor believes that every person should stand up against what is wrong. He says, “I am a huge fan of Subhash Chandra Bose, and I believe that it’s important to take a stand. I believe in this film.”
And Krish seconds Akshay’s stand, “Society doesn’t deteriorate because of the activities of evil men. But it does with the inactivity of good men.” He says that Gabbar Is Back comes with an important message, and hopes that people are able to relate to the film.