Vidyut Jammwal has become synonymous as a Commando, a franchise he’s been associated for six years. The third installment of the franchise too is doing well at the box office, earning over Rs 25 crore as it completed a week at the box office. This time an important reason for the success has been because of the strong challenge he was pitted against, Gulshan Devaiah. The duo spoke to Republic TV in an exclusive interview over the success of the movie, challlenges they faced, their personal equation and many other issues that not just concern them, but the entire nation.
While Vidyut Jammwal has been known for his stunts and action moves in the franchise, this time he was not alone, as Adah Sharma and Angira Dhar joined him in that department. The best compliment he received involved this aspect, “Someone told me that they haven’t watched women on Indian screen fight like that, and the way the two girls have done action, it has not been seen before. For me, it is a matter of pride that an action franchise like Commando 3 has got women also to fight,” Vidyut exulted.
Gulshan, meanwhile, didn’t hesitate to admit that he was in a way a narcissist. “When I watched the film, I told myself, ‘Wow, you have done an amazing job.’ I gave the best compliment to myself. I am so full of myself,” he claimed.
On raising the bar with every installment of the franchise, Vidyut said, “We did Commando 1, then 2, it is just like doing 9th,10th, 11th in school and how the more you study, the more you get smarter, and know what you want to present. Not sure about responsibility, but enthusiasm surely increases. You learn so much.”
Gulshan, on the other hand, got a reality check about being called a ‘good actor’ when he overprepared himself for the role of the antagonist, Buraq. "I had some time to prepare for this film, roughly two months, so I thought a lot about it, but when I started shooting, things weren’t working. For me, it was working, but the director had some thoughts about it, so we sat down and watched the footage to explain to me. This is something that never happened to me before. After I watched it, I felt that the movie had a pitch and sensibility and what I am doing is not really going with this, so we need to make changes, this was a humbling experience. People keep telling you that you are a good actor and you start believing it. You even get ahead of youself, which is when somebody will bring you back down.”
The movie deals with a sensitive issue of religion extremism. Gulshan said they succeedded in bringing out a layered character and not a sterotypical one. “I was up for the responsibility, I was conscious about it. The script gives you the chance to give a layered performance, and not really cater to a stereotype. The atmosphere was bad and there’s this ideology, for some reason, is being perpetuated. I didn’t want to be this guy who is playing it irresponsibly, and I’m making a cool pile of cash on the side. My conscience was clear and that is what it is. But to portray something more layered, one has to show more than what he is saying.”
He added, “I do understand that it is not a very complex plot, the volume is amped up and all, it is the format and within the format to try and create, to a large extent, we’ve been successful. First thing is to take it out of your mind that you’re playing a villain ,or a jihadi, you just have to be truthful, this is what he is trying to achieve." Vidyut said, “For me, because we knew that the motive was national integrity and unity, so we were just careful to be sensitive about religion, and the way we express ourselves. We knew about national integrity, how every Indian is an Indian, above their cast and creed. So, I was quite okay.”
Like national unity, another issue, crime against women and the need for safety of women, has once again come into the limelight with the barbaric gangrape and murder of Disha in Hyderabad. Vidyut had strong views over it: “You said we girls are feeling insecure and unsafe today, but this is not a topic of today alone. This was the case, yesterday, and before that too. The insecurity and fear is there since much before. In between, we believed that everything was taken care of, but men are more angry, the real men who love women and consider them as ‘devi', they are furious.” He also was honest when asked about the person he’d like to beat up. “I don’t bash only person, I love to bash many people at the same time. Bring all the rape accused and convicted.”
On a lighter note, Gulshan was at the receiving end on sets. So much so that he said that he wouldn’t be happy to be sharing screen space with Vidyut again. “He used to bash me up. He is a total bully and he is not a nice guy at all. He is a terrible person, I don’t want to work with him ever again. With a lot of courage, I’m saying that I was black and blue. You should ask my make-up artist how they would touch up my face all the time," Gulshan claimed. Vidyut did not deny it, “It is true that I used to beat him, in the morning, and after shooting.”
Three films in six years, will the franchise extend itself further? Vidyut is confident, “There are no doubts, we are sure that we are going to bring Commando 4, it take some time to think about the script and thought and how we can bring something brilliant on screen.”
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