16.6.08

Can Aamir Khan play Guru Dutt?

Not impressed. Can Aamir Khan enact the role of Guru Dutt in a film to be made on the actor/director?

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?

5 comments:

  1. FV:

    I disagree. Irrespective of his commercial interests, Aamir will do a neat job of portraying Guru Dutt. Atleast, I would prefer him to Salman or Shahrukh any day.

    Yes, I agree that some stories and characters are better left untouched. And Guru Dutt is one of them

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  2. Farzana,

    I agree whole heartedly with you. I do not think Aamir Khan is a good candidate - as good an actor as he is. I would rather they not make this film altogether.

    I can't even picture Ajay Devgan as the Dutt. But if such a film had to be made, perhaps he would be good for the role. Possibly even Irfan Khan (emphasis on possibly)

    Bah'r haal, I wish they would just let us love and appreciate Guru Dutt as is.

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  3. Never say never. Aamir Khan has surprised me many times. I didn't want to watch TZP 'cos it seemed like another kids film..but Aamir Khan was brilliant..Thats not to say that he can pull off Guru Dutt.
    But lets give him a chance..if any actor deserves it then it is he.
    I am looking forward to seeing him.

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  4. Firstly, Shivinder Singh Dungarpur has done great work not only for Titan, but for Pepsodent, Havell, SBI Life, HSBC, Vim, Rin etc.

    Secondly, why should Guru Dutt be left alone. Those of us who are old enough to have seen his work, or know about his life, are privileged enough, and have experienced his passion and creativity. Why not let it be experienced by today's youth.

    Thirdly, I have great respect for Amir as an actor. I think if he accepts the role, he could do justice to it.

    There are too many ifs as of now, will Amir accept the film, will Shivinder make a good film, how good is the script......

    Give them a chance. It needs courage to take up such a character and to make a movie on him in today's Multiplex culture.

    I for one would love to see a movie on Guru Dutt - with Amir or whoever.

    I wish them all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  5. PS:

    "Neat job" is it...too neat and studied.

    Salman and Shahrukh don't even figure...

    Ana:

    When I mention Ajay Devgan it is the Ajay of Zakhm, Company and Gangajal...traces of each.

    Irfan Khan will have to change his eyes and lips...
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    Ronin:

    "Never say never." Yes, Aamir would make a decent Bond!

    This is not about giving Aamir a chance - and honestly one is merely giving a personal opinion - but it is somewhat like not making a weak projection of a heritage. See, if it were an outright bad actor or hyped-up persona, then one would see it as caricature...here one would not be able to do so.

    "I am looking forward to seeing him."

    If you don't mind may I reproduce a 'dialogue' from a candy floss film?

    "Okay, tell me how it was..."

    (Background voices): "Oooh la, la....Pooh, what attitude..." :)

    This is to lighten the atmosphere...in my mind.
    - - -
    Lord:

    1.Thanks for letting me know about the other ads by Dungarpur; I had not run down his ability...btw, Benegal, Nihalani and even Ray started out with ad agencies...

    2. I think many of us saw Guru Dutt's films on old VCRs or at film fests or re-tuns...so we too got exposed later and then read up, studied, admired him. Re. the youth of today, they even wanted Gandhi as a ghost giving sound bytes.

    3. I am not iffy about Aamir as an actor but Aamir in this role. Mine was not a knee-jerk reaction.

    I have mentioned a personal element...and one is possessive about such things.

    There are a couple of points I did not write about...which I shall update in the post.

    Thanks for sharing...

    ReplyDelete