Salman Khan‘S Antim: The Final Truth’ is set to hit the theaters on November 26. His brother-in-law is also in the film. Aayush SharmaIn this, Salman plays the role of Rajveer Singh, a cop. In a recent press briefing, the Bollywood superstar spoke about his experience of creating his own cop universe and working with his friend, filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar.
Final: Ultimate Truth is a remake of Marathi drama Mulshi Pattern. When did you decide to remake the film?
Dabangg 3’s DOP (Director of Photography) Mahesh Limaye narrated the story to me as he shot for the original film (Mulshi Pattern). I watched Marathi film much later when I was at my farmhouse. There is a cop character in the film and I really liked it. But I realized that he had left his character midway. I realized that there were two characters (a cop and a gangster) who come from similar situations and take different paths. I felt that both the characters need to be given equal time. So I decided to make this film from the perspective of the police.
You have played the role of a cop several times including Dabangg and Radhe. Are you trying to create your own police universe?
(laughs) On a serious note, I realized that I have played a cop many times but I loved the subject. Initially, I had two opinions whether I should do it or not, but this thought stuck in my mind. I was told that it was a small role but I refused to accept it. I was working on the script with Mahesh (Manjrekar) and I knew what we were making. We have taken the original plot from the original plot itself. The script has been changed and it is a completely different film. It is lavishly put together whereas the original was built on a limited budget.
Whatever cop character you have played in the past, it is different. How did you decide to do this character?
I was on my farm. My hair and beard had grown. We had to shoot the film in Punjab, but due to the lockdown, we could not shoot it. I realized that the story can be set in any village in our country. We have many Sardar policemen here in Maharashtra too. So we decided to shoot the film here. Also, I could not shoot Tiger 3 and there was buzz that it is Aayush Sharma’s film. He is in the film but the film is Paaji ki hi (the film is mine).
How was it working with your brother-in-law Aayush Sharma? What impressed you as a co-star of hers?
When I am on set, I work there. No sister, no brother. There is no family.
We were doing this film earlier. We still have the script. It was for me but I had passed that age. The title of the film was My Punjabi Nikah. So Sohail came to me saying that they were planning to look for someone else. Sohail then tells me that he has seen this man in the gym and thinks he is ideal for the character. So, after two days, I asked him to sign the guy and move on, but Sohail told me he was not coming to the gym. He used to be regular and then suddenly we couldn’t find him.
Then one day Arpita called. I live just one floor below him, but since he called us, we all went to meet him. And, we see this boy standing with my father and mother Arpita. We had seen him here and there before. Then Arpita said, ‘Papa, I want to marry him.’ I asked him if he was a gym guy, he said yes. I asked Sohail if he was the same guy he thought of for his film, he said yes. So I told him, ‘Ab toh main free mein film bannaga (I will make a film with him for free)’.
How was the experience of working with Mahesh Manjrekar? they were diagnosed cancer During the shooting of the film.
that’s very good. He is a multi-talented personality. He acts, directs, choreographs, sings, paints and cooks. He is an amazing cook. He fed me chicken and fish.
He is a real fighter. We were shooting when he had cancer and during the pandemic which is a big deal.
We usually see Sikh characters doing comedy in films. Were you clear that you don’t want anything like this in the movie?
When you have to make them look like God, you make them like that. When you see Sardars dressed well, they look like gods or warriors and that’s what I wanted to show in the film.
Has the magic of cinemas faded since the rise of OTT during the lockdown?
No, I knew cinemas would be closed for some time but once vaccination is done and it becomes like normal flu, people will come back and shoot will also resume. I don’t think cinema can replace OTT and OTT can replace cinema. Because it’s not the same thing. Somebody would sit at home with family and watch on TV or laptop. It’s no fun watching anything on a phone or an iPad. Watching on TV is best, but even that doesn’t match the theater screen.