After the success of Rajneeti last year, director Prakash Jha goes on the floors with Aarakshan (Reservation) in Bhopal. Jha reveals, “Saif (Ali Khan) will be playing a young lecturer who is looking to pursue his doctorate alongside his job.” Jha promises that the role is just right for Khan’s age.
Known for extracting performances from commercial faces like Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, Jha’s film could be a lifesaver for Khan. After the debacle of Kurbaan and the lukewarm response to Love Aaj Kal in 2009, Khan had no release last year and desperately needs a hit. This year, he has his own home production, Agent Vinod, in the pipeline. Apart from Khan, Jha’s movie will feature Manoj Bajpai and Prateik Babbar in other pivotal roles. Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone will play father and daughter in the film.
Khan, who has just returned from a Swiss vacation with girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, is set to leave for Bhopal on a 60-day schedule for Aarakshan. Jha says, “Arrangements have been on full swing for the last four months in the city. We will shoot at real locations all over Bhopal.” Jha says he is not perturbed that both his actors – Padukone and Khan – have not had a solid run at the box office recently: “I am confident of Deepika and have enjoyed all her performances, right from Bachna Ae Haseeno. I had cast Ranbir (Kapoor) despite Saawariya’s failure. I look at an actor’s potential and not just their recent box-office success.”
Regarding the topic of reservation, Jha promises he will not present a biased view. He says, “I am not for or against reservation. Supreme Court judgments have made aarakshan (reservation) the truth of our life. I raise questions and emotions of people related to the issue.”