HT Brunch Dialogues: Bollywood discusses guns and gangsters

Hindustan Times

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If there is one thing that Bollywood loves as much as love stories, it is crime. And some of present day Indian cinema’s best directors and producers came to discuss just that at the first edition of ‘Brunch Dialogues – Conversations with Indian Cinema’ on Monday.

Panelists for the first session included Sanjay Gupta, director of Shootout at Lokhandwala, Tigmanshu Dhulia, director of Paan Singh Tomar, and film producer Ekta Kapoor. In the second session, the star cast of Gupta’s Shootout at Wadala – John Abraham, Manoj Bajpai and Kangna Ranaut – spoke about characterisation in films rooted in the city’s crime scene.

“I think if someone else made Paan Singh Tomar, it wouldn’t have worked,” said Kapoor.

More than 400 people, including actors Konkana Sen Sharma, adman Prahlad Kakkar and actors Kabir and Pooja Bedi, attended the event.

Gupta, who is now shooting Shootout at Wadala, the prequel to Shootout at Lokhandwala, explained what it took to make a movie based on the underworld. “AA Khan, the man who set up the anti-terrorist squad in Mumbai, was a trigger happy cop. I met him and then did some research. He gave me a file of press cuttings. He was upset with my portrayal of him in the film because it wasn’t entirely sympathetic,” said Gupta.

While Kapoor and Gupta are fascinated with Mumbai crimes, Dhulia has little regard for them.

“Mumbai’s crime films are based on sophisticated dons,” said Dhulia. “Characters outside Mumbai are defying authority.”

The discussion had its lighter moments with Abraham confessing that he is tongue-tied when a girl in a lift calls him hot. To this, Bajpai, referring to himself, responded, “You don’t want to be in a situation where auntijis call you uncleji.”

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