It’s no longer a secret that the makers of the Dhamaal franchise are all set to launch the third installment titled Total Dhamaal.
The Emergency of 1975 has mostly been used as a backdrop for tense, political dramas — notably high on the ‘gritty’, ‘realistic’ quotient. The latest film to have gone that route is Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar.
But Milan Luthria’s Baadshaho, while set in the same milieu, goes down a different path.
This is an out-and-out action thriller/entertainer, which eschews ‘gritty realism’ for quintessential Bollywood masala.
The official teaser has been released by T-Series on its YouTube channel, and we start off with the Emergency being announced, with the country going into lockdown mode. Amid this, a bunch of six “badasses” (men and women) have decided to pull off a heist that could bring them untold wealth.
We’re introduced to the principal characters — Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta, Sanjay Mishra, Vidyut Jamwal — and vignettes of Rajasthan’s desert and glorious havelis, some high-octane stunts and dialoguebaazi that don’t really establish the plot of Baadshaho as such.
It is believed that the film is based on Indira Gandhi’s orders to take over Jaigarh Fort (which was believed to be the hiding place for Raja Mansingh of Jaipur’s treasure — spoils of war from his campaign in Afghanistan during Emperor Akbar’s time) at the time of the Emergency.
This has been the season of clashes.
It all started last year in December with Bajirao Mastani and Dilwale clashing, which was followed by rumours of a big clash between Raees and Sultan. However, we are guessing Shah Rukh Khan decided to play it safe after Bajirao Mastani did better box office business, and Sultan had a solo release.
However, one of the biggest clashes of this year has to been between Karan Johar’s directorial venture Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Ajay Devgn’s directorial venture Shivaay, both of which are releasing on Diwali this year.
While both Johar and Devgn have not spoken about the clash till now, Ajay has finally addressed the elephant in the room, in this DNA interview. Not known to mince his words, Devgn has been very straightforward about his stance.
“I don’t waste my time thinking about anybody else’s film. I want to concentrate on my film because, eventually, it’s the product that speaks. Why break my concentration? I’m only concerned about what I’m making,” said Ajay Devgn upon being asked if he is “prepared” for the clash with Karan Johar’s film.
He further said that when they announced the release date for Shivaay, nobody else was releasing a film at the time, and that it’s their [Dharma Productions] prerogative if they want to cash in on a good day. Devgn further informed that when he reached out to Fox Star India (who are co-producing Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) they refused to budge on the release.
This is especially a delicate clash because Devgn’s wife and actress Kajol, and Karan Johar have been thick since even before they started their careers. There have been reports of a fall out between the two since the clash.
Both these films, Shivaay and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil are very crucial to Ajay Devgn and Karan Johar respectively. This is Ajay Devgn’s second film as a director after 2008’s U Me Aur Hum and his last film was Drishyam. Shivaay has taken close to two years to script and make and therefore its stakes are very high.
Karan Johar, on the hand, directed his last film (Student of the Year) in 2012, and has been producing films since then. His lead actor in the film is Ranbir Kapoor, whose last few films have not been successful. Anushka Sharma is, for all practical purposes, the most “bankable” star in his film.
This must be something that plagues Johar since he was the one who conveniently “dropped” Imran Khan from his favourites list after he stopped delivering hits.
Given this background on the film, is it strange that Johar is making no sounds about his film. There are no hashtags, no first looks, no songs, not even Instagram posts about it. Just radio silence. Should we be expecting an announcement of a shift in release soon?