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The hero behind the action


HE DANCES to the tunes of Gene Kelly musicals, laughs to Charlie Chaplin movies and aspires to make a film like the "Titanic" These are a list of favourites of director Anil Sharma, who has so far churned out action packed films like "Hukumat", "Elaan-e-Jung", "Gadar - Ek Prem Katha" and "The Hero" to list a few - quite opposite to his "real tastes".

Says he on making action his genre: "During the time the VCR came into our lives, a majority of the films stopped working. Since the gentry watched movies at home, I decided to make films for the masses. Thus, came about `Tehelka' and other films."

Born and brought up in Mathura, Anil Sharma's grandfather was an astrologer. Geeta Dutt and many other big screen bigwigs used to visit him. "I was completely awestruck by the larger than life image these actors exuded. It is during these visits that I started thinking about films," recalls the Piscean. Apart from being a voracious reader, he was also the colony's playwright and director. "A spirit to organise people, delegate roles and direct them was always there. It took me time to realise it and exploit it to the fullest." claims Sharma.

After having worked with Amin Sayani and assisted B.R. Chopra in "The Burning Train" and "Insaaf Ka Tarazu" etc., he came up with "Shradhanjali", his directorial debut.



Anil Sharma.

His films usually have a lot of violence, with Sunny Deol as the lead. On being typecast as an action film director, he observes: "I would love to make a musical or a romantic film, but this stereotype image just does not seem to abandon me. It is like being trapped in a vicious circle."

Remarks Anil on the lack of film content these days: "The basic premise of a Hindi film has not changed, only the storyline keeps getting altered." A surprising a comment, considering his movies also revolve around the same themes though with newer stunt sequences.

He is excited about his forthcoming film, "Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon" starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Bobby Deol, slated for release on August 15 next year. It is about the life and family of an Army man. Real lives and sensitive issues inspire him, and this film is learnt to be about a real life incident too.

Waiting to break free of his image, is Anil Sharma, but with lights, camera and `action'!

KANIKA DHAWAN

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