Despite running high fever, when Arjun Rampal walked into the Zee News office to speak about his upcoming ‘Chakravyuh’, one could not help but admire the man. He is bestowed with the ability to hold people captive – both on screen and off it, and there can absolutely be no doubts about it. Ananya Bhattacharya of Zeenews.com spoke to the ‘Raajneeti’ star about films, Prakash Jha and a lot more. Excerpts from the conversation:
You play an IPS Officer in ‘Chakravyuh’. Right before this, you performed a completely different Aryan Khanna in ‘Heroine’. Tell us more about the two roles.
‘Chakravyuh’ and ‘Heroine’ are totally different genres of films. ‘Chakravyuh’ is very realistic; it’s on a huge scale. Here my character is the main protagonist’s, who goes out there to make a difference to society. It’s a very powerful character and is completely different one.
The doctrines of Naxalism, Maoism – was it heavy for you?
Yes… It is an intense feeling, for all of us; in fact, for anybody in any place which is not even remotely close to the Naxal areas. We are all aware of a situation but we are not completely aware as to what’s really going on. And to find that out was quite awakening for me, and I’m sure it’d be so for anybody who’s going to watch the film. That is the message of the film.
You’ve been doing some exceptionally good work for a considerable period of time now. Do you think ‘Chakravyuh’ will be able to take that a notch higher?
Yes… the topics and the situations depicted in the film are of concern. The whole of the Naxalite movement and how things happened are what one dwells on in the film. Actually, the story is of two friends and a very beautiful one. Two very different ideologies and points of view, and both are right in what they support - the stands that both of them take are right. I think that’s what is going to be the most exciting part of ‘Chakravyuh’ more than politics and the other things. Of course, with the politics and all, awareness is created, but the actual story is the story of the two friends – which, I think, people will really enjoy.
How was it working with Prakash Jha after ‘Rajneeti’?
It’s very easy to work with him. He always gives me roles and sees me in a light which no other director does; he brings out the best in me. He makes me do good work, and so is it with the part of Adil Khan in ‘Chakravyuh’. And I hope I’ve justified it.
And you expect to take this association of yours with Prakash Jha further?
I’m working with him in ‘Satyagrah’ now. It’s good, you know. It’s always good if your relation with the director is nice and if that can be followed up.
How would you rate your on-screen chemistry with Abhay Deol and Manoj Bajpayee – the other male leads in the film?
After I finished shooting for the film, both of them were in tears. They were very sad and heartbroken that I was leaving. Both Abhay and Manoj fell madly in love with me (laughs)!
What sort of expectations do you have from the film?
I think it’s a very important film for every Indian in today’s time. My expectation is that everyone should go in and see it; they will be entertained. It is a film with a very strong message: a message which one cannot and should not ignore. My whole wish is that people just go in and see the film – not because I’m there in it but it’s a film that really touches your heart and tells you the real situation in our country.