The role of a street-walking violinist who becomes a messiah called Mr India is counted as one of Anil Kapoor’s career best performances but it is lesser known that the character was initially offered to megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
Scriptwriter Javed Akhtar shared the trivia at the ongoing MAMI Mumbai Film Festival that makers had thought of having Bachchan for the 1987 blockbuster “Mr India”.
“A film was started by Pramod Chakravorty with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead and they took first shot of a tape recorder and his voice was played.
“A moving shot was taken. That time the idea of invisible man theme came up. But things did not work out with him (Amitabh Bachchan),” Akhtar wrote.
The third day of the festival saw reunion of “Mr India” with the cast and crew of the film including Sridevi, Anil, Satish Kaushik, producer Boney Kapoor narrating their experiences of the film.
Aftab Shivdasani, who acted in the film as a child artist and choreographer Ahmed Khan were present at the reunion. However, director Shekhar Kapur was conspicuous by his absence.
“Mr India”, a sci-fi superhero film, had Anil, Sridevi and Amrish Puri in the lead roles.
Anil, who wore his famous “Mr India” grey suit and hat on stage, said it was a dream come true for him to star opposite his sister-in-law, Sridevi.
“The script was great, I had Javed sahab writing the script and acting opposite the biggest and the best actress of our country, Sridevi, was a dream come true. It was due to all these things that I did the film,” the 58-year-old actor said.
Anil’s elder brother Boney added every aspect of the movie was “well planned.”
“Iconic films are made not just by one person it is a team work. We did a lot of promotions for this film. We promoted the film at Sharjah ground. Not just writing, acting, directing… All the aspects of this film were well planned,” he said.
All characters of this film became memorable, be it Arun (Anil), Seema (Sridevi), Mogambo (Puri) or Calender (Satish Kaushik).
“The success of a film depends on characters of films, actor, who conveys the story, director and other people. People watch a film again and again because of the characters the film,” Akhtar said.