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On the CIRCUIT now

Arshad Warsi, for a change, gets serious on the silver screen. He plays a tough cop in his forthcoming film "Seher".


"Munna Bhai M.B.B.S." proved a milestone in my career. Now I choose my director and not vice versa



DAWN OF SUNLIGHT: Arshad Warsi in New Delhi. Photo: Anu Pushkarna.

You have seen Arshad Warsi aka Circuit laughing, joking all the way in "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S", but in his forthcoming film "Sehar" (meaning morning) he doesn't even smile. Reason, he is enacting a real life, tough cop, currently DIG, CBI, Arun Kumar, in this film directed by Kabir Kaushik.

Arun was the one who nabbed 23-year-old serial killer, Shri Prakash Shukla, a student of Gorakhpur University, who was among India's most wanted criminals those days having links with some top shots of the country. Shri Prakash was also the one to get a lot of media hype then because he used most sophisticated means to commit crime and had no criminal background.

Though Arshad was heavily dependent upon Kaushik's research to play Arun but he also used his own idea.

"Before I met Arun, I had already done my bit of guess work about him. For instance, I thought to myself that he might be a man of few words, wearing a specific type of dresses, smiles less and a sharp observer. I chose my clothes and wristwatch according to my idea of Arun. And when I met him, he was surprised to see that I chose exactly the same wristwatch as he wears," recounts Arshad.

No parallel

Despite playing a real life character, Arshad chose not to draw parallel from him specially in portraying him. Nor did he feel apprehensive about any mistake that he could commit while playing Arun.

"I don't want to sound like a great actor but believe me, once I get into the skin of the character, everything falls into place. There are no apprehensions, no doubts whatsoever. Playing international figures such as Gandhi or Nehru is more difficult because people know how they used to walk, talk, behave and so on. So a Ben Kinsley and Richard Attenborough have to be more careful while making Gandhi than Kabir and Arshad making an Arun Kumar. People had heard of Arun but didn't know how he speaks, behaves and his body language. Here I scored some points," says Arshad. The film Arshad reveals, also subtly points out at the incomprehensible language that is used in the official Government letters. "Ninety per cent of the officers don't understand such vocabulary used in these letters. To show this reality, a senior officer is shown reading out such official letter in the film".

Arshad actually wanted to play the role of Shri Prakash Shukla in the film that Sushant Singh is now playing. "When I read the script, I expressed my desire to play Shukla, the villain in the film. But Kaushik told me that the film is actually focussed on how Arun created special task force to nab him, how his job was made difficult and how the police force usually go unsung despite doing some extraordinary work. That way my role was more pivotal. After I saw the results, I was happy. I guarantee you that you will not dislike me in the film," assures the actor.

This confidence in a happy Arshad is also a result of his re-birth as an actor after "Munna Bhai MBBS".

"The film proved a milestone in my career. Now I choose my director and not vice versa. Now all my producers and directors know that I am quite a dependable actor. It feels nice," says Arshad, an accomplished dancer too.

"Hindi films don't have modern Jazz that I know. It mostly has those Shamak Davar kind of dances. So, main personal parties main apne man ki badhas nikal leta hoon (I dance my way to the hilt in personal parties). Let me tell you that dance for was a personal choice and acting, a professional one.

Moreover, dancing for the sake of dancing in films is something that I never liked. I am happy that in `Gopi Kishan' and `Kisse Pyar Karoon', I have full fledged dance numbers." Such is Arshad's love for dance, that he wants to "establish an academy" to teach modern jazz and also make a film only on dance. "Kabhi na kabhi to aik film main dance par zaroor banaunga". (I will make film on dance one day)" This `Circuit' in "Munna Bhai" finds it more difficult to play a comic than the role like a tough cop that needs some bit of a thinking.

"You need more energy level to portray a comic character. It is easy to beat someone up than to make someone laugh," he admits. Now with more than half a dozen films in hand, that include "Chocolate", "Rokda", "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S Part II", and "Salam Namaste", Arshad is smiling his way to the bank.

"Better late than never," he quips.

RS

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