Click for stills from the documentary that showcases the legendary actor in a different avatar
Director Shoojit Sircar is putting together a documentary on Amitabh Bachchan, which he says reveals the megastar in moods never seen before. The film is based on the extensive tours of Gujarat that the director undertook with Big B, the brand ambassador of the state while shooting 14 films promoting the state tourism. “Mr Bachchan and I travelled to nearly 25 towns cities and villages of Gujarat to shoot these films. Initially, I was excited by seeing facets of Gujarat that I had never seen before,” said Sircar known for his directorial debut Yahaan. “Then I realised I was traveling across Gujarat with the coolest co-traveller in the world. Mr Bachchan’s energy level, his poise in front of about 60,000 fans and most important of all, his inner tranquility in those rare moments when he was without hordes of people staring, cheering, demanding his time…I was simply blown away by the way he approaches life and people,” he added.
Luckily Sircar, who made the unreleased Johnny Mastana with Amitabh, shot ample footage of him and these are now being put together in what promises to be a rare insight into the heart mind and soul of India’s greatest actor. The footage would be accompanied by reflections from the Big B’s personal diary.
“We shot the 14 films for Gujarat tourism in five phases, the architecture of Gujarat, the Buddhist culture (which no one knows about), the handicrafts, the religious rituals and the festivals,” he said. “In Ahmedabad, when we shot the kite-flying ceremony, he (Big B) was surrounded by 50,000 people and still jumped right into the milling crowds without fear. In a remote part of Gujarat, Mr Bachchan rode a phat-phatiya (three wheeler) with a bunch of villagers…He hopped onto a bike and drove down a highway…It was an amazing experience.”
The most heart-in-the-mouth moment, captured in the documentary, was when Amitabh insisted on going into a 300-feet deep well. “We wanted to shoot one of the deepest wells in the country. Mr Bachchan suggested he climb down to show just how deep it is. We thought he was joking. But no. He actually went down the iron pegs inside the well right down to where even the camera couldn’t see him,” said Sircar.