Can John Abraham be convincing as a Marathi-speaking gangster?

John Abraham will play Manya Surve in Shootout At Wadala. We wonder if he’ll be able to do a good job

John Abraham is known more for his beefcake bod than his acting chops. The main reason why filmmakers cast him is, his infectious smile and his physique which makes for perfect eye candy material. We understand that John likes being cast in hatke films, as we’ve seen him in Deepa Mehta’s Water and Anurag Kashyap’s No Smoking, but this time it is different. In Water, John didn’t have to speak much as it was actor Lisa Ray’s film all through and in No Smoking he was playing the role of an urban arrogant corporate honcho. Compared to these films, Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout At Wadala is in a different zone altogether. A sequel to his earlier film, Shootout At Lokhandwala, Gups, as he is fondly called, is particularly gung ho about his upcoming film. He is going the whole hog to make his film as realistic as possible. While Anil Kapoor plays the role of encounter specialist Isaque Bagwan, John will essay the character of gangster Manya Surve. Gupta is digging out material from all possible sources so that he can pass it on to his actors, who in turn, we hear, have been working hard to get their acts right. One challenge they are coming to terms with, is that there is precious little reference material on Surve, since he was killed in an an encounter a long time ago. This leaves John with two options: either he can play the role according to his own interpretation or probably try and find someone who was close to the gangster to get some insight into his mannerisms. While we have no doubts about Anil Kapoor’s acting prowess, we aren’t very sure if the handsome Parsi bawa will be able to pull off an authentic Marathi maanoos role with élan.