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Bachchan likely to star in Malayalam film

Amitabh Bachchan.
Amitabh Bachchan.

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan is likely to act with well-known actor Mohan Lal in a Malayalam film based on the December, 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar in Afghanistan, Major Ravi, the director of the movie said.

Maj Ravi said he had narrated the story to Bachchan last night in Kochi, when Mohan Lal was also present.

"He listened to the story and gave me the dates straightaway. He said, 'I am doing the movie'," Maj Ravi told NetIndian over the telephone.

Maj Ravi, a former Indian Army officer, said the story of the film is only loosely based on the Kandahar hijacking case, using it as a starting point. "The story is then developed in my own way," he said. The movie has been tentatively titled "Kandahar".

Bachchan would be making a "guest appearance" in the movie but still have a "meaty role" as the father of one of the passengers on the plane and figure prominently in the climax scenes, he explained.

Maj Ravi said he had been working on the script for the last two years and would now be trying to finish work on it as quickly as possible so that he could apply for the necessary clearances from the army authorities. He said he planned to start shooting for the film by June or July.

Oscar Award-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty will also be associated with the movie, he added.

Maj Ravi's real name is Major A K Ravindran. A recipient of the President's medal, he had joined the army in 1975 and had graduated from the Army Cadet College to become a commando in 1988. He was involved in the mission to capture suspects in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, an experience which he used to direct Mission 90 Days in 2007.

Using his army experience, he initially worked as a military consultant for many Indian films and worked with some of the best-known names in the industry. His first feature film was Keertichakra, starring Mohan Lal, on the militancy in Jammu & Kashmir, which won all-round applause. His third film Kurukshetra was based on the Kargil War, and also featured Mohan Lal.

Bachchan referred to the proposal about the movie in his blog. "Mohanlal comes up to the room later and narrates a script for which he wishes me to do a days’ guest appearance. I am inclined on principle but will read the script and revert," he said.

If Bachchan does act in the film, it will be his first appearance in a Malayalam film.

Bachchan was in Kochi to attend a function to felicitate Pookutty. He also wrote about his meeting with superstar Mammootty and Mohan Lal at the event.

"I meet up with the two greats of Malayalam cinema - Mohanlal and Mamooty. Their work is testimony to their greatness. Effortless, easy and so completely natural that it belies all that you may have conceived about how acting needs to be done," he remarked.

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