What was Guru Dutt about? Desire, destruction, sublimation, angst, a wry sense of humour, romance, sensuality, intellect that was more curiosity than canny knowledge; Guru Dutt was spontaneity, darkness but never stark, lightness but never froth.
Aamir Khan is a fine actor, excellent at times, and never lets you down. He is reliable.
Guru Dutt you could not rely on. He would surprise you, shock you, irritate you, want to make you tear your hair, weep with a pathos he insisted you make your own. He stood for the tragic kink that makes some people (and I vainly include myself in this category) become our own worst enemies. We need no opponents.
Aamir Khan may be insulated from the regular hype (I have my doubts about this) but he is not isolationist, not reclusive, not an outsider.
If he has any sense then he will refuse to do the film.
There is no one. Not one actor today could do justice. The closest anyone could get to it would be Ajay Devgan, but not really...
Should such a film be made? I don’t know how good Shivindra Singh Dungarpur is but his ad films for Titan were quite good. However, this is not about selling a product. You are recreating the very epitome of agony as ecstasy. You have to find someone who can smoke cigarettes with such panache that the lips sizzle; you have to find someone who can express loneliness that you only notice him; you have to find someone who can smile and melt wax; you have to find someone whose eyes look at you with indulgence and through you like a needle; you have to find someone who makes you feel special through a shaft of light.
I really do not wish to see Aamir Khan growing his moustache like Guru Dutt’s and going around with it to “feel the character” and then endorsing products with that “look”. It works for historical or other characters but not a real person who is a bigger fantasy than many fantasies.
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Updated on June 17, 5.40 PM IST:
I forgot to mention one very crucial factor - voice modulation. If you have heard Guru Dutt, you will know he does not have a standard great voice, but his inflections were as good as Dilip Kumar's (and not affectations). Now listen to Aamir in various roles, whether as the villager Bhuvan in Lagaan or the suave Aakash in Dil Chahta Hai or as Mangal Pandey or any of the characters, he gets the accent right, not the voice modulation. It is almost standardised.
Have you heard a tremor in his voice? A whisper?
I have thought of another actor who could pull it off: Akshaye Khanna...mainly because of how he uses his voice, his eyes, his smile and his body language. Think Taal, think Dil Chahta Hai, think Gandhi My Father... completely different roles and you recall the characters, not the actor.
To be Guru Dutt the actor will need the courage and lack of vanity to be invisible.
I am entitled not to let anyone mess around with my fantasy, right?