Priyadarshan’s film is based on a TOI report on khap panchayats

Meena Iyer | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 9, 2010)

Priyadarshan couldn’t have timed it better. His hard-hitting action thriller about love across caste barriers and honour killings based on a Times of India report, releases worldwide on October 1.

A year ago, when Priyan joined hands with producer Kumar Mangat Pathak (Omkara), the makers hadn’t envisaged that parts of India would be under siege of the khap panchayats. Big Screen Entertainer’s Aakrosh has Ajay Devgn and Akshaye Khanna playing CBI officers — one on special deputation to the village and the other, the local officer. The other cast members are Bipasha Basu, Paresh Rawal, Reema Sen and Amita Pathak in a stellar role.

Another USP of the film is the music by the current Bollywood craze Pritam and lyrics by Irshad Kamil. Mangat is very confident the film will hammer the right message as far as honour killings go. “This is a topic that has taken India by storm. Ours is a hard-hitting commercial film that is likely to drive home the message to the masses and the gentry,’’ he says. “Omkara got me awards. Aakrosh should get me awards and rewards.’’

Ajay, whose equity is bullish after three hits — All the Best, Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge and Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, feels the film will work. Says the actor, “Bollywood is going through an interesting and important phase. Today a filmmaker has the liberty to address a topical issue within the mainstream format, combining entertainment and a social message. I revel in roles that have a very life-like quality. Here the cops are not cardboard cut-outs but people you can identify with. Aakrosh is a racy thriller that keeps you on the edge.’’

For Akshaye, his relationship with Priyan has a deep-rooted understanding. Says he, “I’ve probably done the most number of films with Priyan. I’m well-versed with his style and his narrative. Aakrosh was a great experience. Ajay and I are coming together after our last successful outing Deewangee, so that’s another added incentive.’’ Bipasha says her role has very interesting shades. “You’ll get me as Seeta and Geeta,” she smiles.

The National Award-winner Priyadarshan, who has handled comedies and social dramas with equal ease, says Aakrosh will get him the accolades he got for Viraasat, Kala Paani, and his recent Kanjeevaram. “I’m sure it should also bring in the required box office numbers because I have been getting incessant messages after the theatrical trailer that played before Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai,” said the director.