On the sets of Sarkar 3 in Dubai
THURSDAY EVENING AROUND 5pm the old Gold Souk area in Deira was bustling like any other day. Kanz Jewels was as busy as any other shop. Suddenly post 6pm, the security around the place tightened up. The shop was closed for the night. The area was marked off with a rope to stop curious bystanders from entering. Cameras, light and sound equipment were being taken inside the shop. The crowd eventually got the whiff that a portion of Sarkar 3 will be shot there. Suddenly, hundreds of people gathered to catch a glimpse of Bollywood star Jackie Shroff who was about to shoot there. Director Ram Gopal Varma entered at around 7.30pm to have a final look at the set. But the crowd greeted their beloved actor Jackie with a thundering cheering when he came around 8pm. The actor quickly went through his lines and the camera started rolling pretty quickly - just the way it happens in any Ram Gopal Varma movie. He is known to finish his films very quickly. He doesn't use elaborate sets or lighting. "This is the only portion of the movie that is shot outside India, rest all the characters are based in India," said Ram Gopal Varma while talking to City Times as he was taking a break from the shooting.
"I always wanted to shoot something in Dubai in my long career but never got the opportunity. The character that Jackie Shroff is playing lives in Dubai, he plays a businessman from India. In the context of photography and style of the film, I thought whatever I have seen in Dubai synced very well with the story and matched the tone of the film," he added.
The crew shot in places like Marina Mall, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium and Sheikh Zayed Road in the last one week. In fact, the same morning the Gold Souq shoot happened, the crew had done a shot in Dolphin Bay as well.
And thus the Bollywood-Dubai connect continues.
ANIL DHANAK, THE Managing director of Kanz Jewels, is also playing a tiny part in the movie as the owner of the shop that Jackie visits. He said, "They approached us ten weeks back. The shoot was to happen on Wednesday but it got postponed to Thursday. I don't know much about the story but all I know is that Jackie Shroff is playing a villain.
"I think Dubai gives easy access for shooting and a chance to add more glamour which is why so many Bollywood movies are shot here. Places like a desert safari and the Burj Khalifa are unique but quite common as well because anyone can go there. Even South Indian movies are often shot on Shaikh Zayed Road.
"We were not confident before they started shooting but the security and the police department supported us very well. Yes, we lose a bit of our business but today they are shooting during the evening so it will be helpful.
"This is also happening during DSF which is an extremely busy time for our business. If they insisted on shooting in the morning or Friday, that would have been tough."
Tete-e-Tete with Jackie
On being eternally stylish: I think it's your reflection, if you are good, then you will see good in others.
On his character: First of all, I am coming here to shoot for Sarkar 3. I can't speak about my character; my production team will kill me!
On travelling: I love the world but take me anywhere around the world; Mumbai remains my favourite.
On his son Tiger Shroff's success: I am so thankful and grateful to everything that he has achieved. I keep telling him to stay grounded and humbled.
Interview with Ram Gopal Verma
ON SARKAR 3: It doesn't have any direct connection with Sarkar and Sarkar 2. Even the previous Sarkar movies hardly had any connection with each other.
Sarkar 3 is darker: This time it is more complex and larger in scale. I think you see Amitabh Bachchan much more vibrant compared to the earlier two films. His role will be much more aggressive and darker than the previous film.
On being a Bachchan fanboy: Honestly, our equation is very good because of which we end up doing so many movies. I grew up watching Bachchan's films. He is the biggest star for me. I used to stand in queues to buy tickets for his movies. Also, the kind of movies he makes is realistic and raw. He is the only actor who actually holds the kind of performance or grittiness that I tend to bring in my films.
Equation with Bachchan: It's not like he says yes to any script that I take to him. He has a very strong instinct. He is a highly intelligent and extremely senior man. He understands the gist of my character very fast.
Sneak peek of Sarkar 3
SARKAR 3 IS an upcoming Indian political crime action thriller film written and directed by Ram Gopal Varma. This is the third instalment of Sarkar film series and is closely modelled after the iconic Godfather trilogy. Amitabh Bachchan will reprise his role of Subhash Nagre, Jackie Shroff is one of the new additions who will play the Dubai-based villain in the film. Kaabil star Yami Gautam will be coming together with Amitabh and RGV for the first time as she plays the character who wants to take revenge on Bachchan for her father's murder. It is being reported that actor Manoj Bajpayee's character will be loosely based on Arvind Kejriwal. The film is scheduled for a worldwide release on March 17.