• Wednesday, July 06, 2022


Big B on how Gulabo Sitabo character tested his capability

CHAMELEON: Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurana in Gulabo Sitabo

By: Manju Chandran


IN HIS younger days, Amitabh Bachchan became the biggest commercial Bollywood star in history, but in his latter years, he has perhaps become the most versatile and delivered a range of roles never seen before by contemporaries.

The 77-year-old’s roles range from playing a 12-year-old with progeria in Paa (2009) to taking on the role of a 102-year-old in 102 Not Out (2018).

The legendary actor has transformed himself again for his new film Gulabo Sitabo and looks unrecognisable in the Amazon Prime release. The comedy-drama sees him team up with ace director Shoojit Sircar again and their bond is such that he immediately agreed to be part of Gulabo Sitabo.

“With Shoojit Sarkar, there is no narration as far as I am concerned. He just comes over, shares a brief idea for a few minutes and we are on! He decides for me; I just follow,” said Bachchan.

Their previous projects include super hit 2015 comedy-drama Piku, which won Bachchan a prestigious National Film Award and not surprisingly, he is full of praise for the filmmaker.

When asked what sets Sircar apart from his contemporaries and makes him a prominent storyteller, Bachchan said: “His choice of subjects and his characters are grounded and from his observation of everyday life. They are real and they are distinguishable to all the viewers. The elements of that ‘slice of life’ that he brings in, tell us how minutely he has observed, lived and experienced these lives. That is his genius.”

Folk puppets local to Uttar Pradesh about arguing rivals named Gulabo and Sitabo inspired the title of the film, along with the story of an elderly landlord and his tenant. It took Bachchan two to three hours to transform himself for a role he initially thought maybe too much of a challenge.

“I thought how on earth am I going to do this role. I am still fretting its outcome,” he said smiling.

The actor doesn’t need to worry too much because the trailer has been met with a positive response. Early indications are that his role of Mirza will add to the many memorable characters he has played across his glittering 51-year career.

“Each role is a challenge. Each night before the shoot is filled with anxiety and fear. Each day is a test of your capacity and capability. And when it’s over, each day is filled with the anticipation of audience reaction,” he said.

The actor stars opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in the film and although they didn’t spend a lot of time on set together, he is full of praise for his co-star, who is on an incredible run at the box office.

Although he was the most senior member on set, the most memorable aspect of working on Gulabo Sitabo for Bachchan was watching and learning from his cast members and crew.

“The new generation is a prodigious talent that is filled with utmost confidence, and superior quality. Ayushmann Khurana is  one of them and it has been a great joy to have been in his company.”

With more films on the way, India’s most beloved movie star isn’t done yet and will carry on entertaining audience for as long as possible.

Gulabo Sitabo is available on Amazon Prime

Eastern Eye

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