Joginder Tuteja, Glamsham Editorial
While names like Abhishek Bachchan, Shahid Kapoor and even Ranbir Kapoor have been thrown around for enacting the part of the central protagonist in Prakash Jha's upcoming films CHAKRAVYUH and SATYAGRAHA, the one who is finding most prominence is Akshay Kumar. On the other hand for the part of a veteran actor, Amitabh Bachchan and Nana Patekar are said to be in contention. However one can comfortably state that Manoj Bajpayee would be an obvious inclusion.
"Manoj has been a strong favourite with Jha saab ever since he came up with an award winning act in RAAJNEETI. Also, it was his confrontation scenes with Mr. Bachchan that lent some credibility to AARAKSHAN. It's a surprise that while all other actors are being spoken about either for playing the protagonist or an antagonist, one is forgetting that Manoj Bajpayee would easily find his way in," says a source.
One has all the right reasons to believe that Jha is first looking at getting a confirmed cast in place to fill up his top slots and make the projects viable before announcing the next lot of actors. Inclusion of an Akshay Kumar or a Shahid Kapoor gives a certain weight to the project post which the casting of remainder of the cast becomes an easier exercise.
Meanwhile Bajpayee is also playing the waiting game and is maintaining his stance of not really expecting anything from anyone in Bollywood, regardless of the director being someone like Jha with whom he has shared a great personal and professional equation. "Manoj never tries to put the burden of his own expectations on his producer's shoulders," says a close friend of the actor, "Whether it is Jha or any other director, he would want them to cast him only after they are convinced that he deserves it."
However in the cut throat competition where decisions change overnight, one wonders whether Manoj's idealistic stance will stand the test of the times. "I always enjoy working with Prakash Jha because he gives me a lot of space and creative liberty so that I feel free. I am sure that if he has a part that he thinks that only I can do, he would cast me in," Manoj had stated in an earlier conversation.
Well Manoj, he may just do that provided he first gets a go ahead from his top billed stars!