Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan is very busy these days with film “Bob Biswas” ready for release, three more films in the pipeline and management of two popular sports franchises.
“Bob Biswas” is a spinoff of Sujoy Ghosh’s 2012 cult classic “Kahaani,” starring Vidya Balan. It featured Saswata Chatterjee as the cold-blooded contract killer Bob Biswas.
“Bob Biswas,” written by Ghosh, and directed by feature debutant Diya Annapurna Ghosh, stars Bachchan as the titular character, who comes out of a coma and has lost his memory and his erstwhile, mysterious, employers want him to return to his contract killing ways.
It is produced by Sujoy Ghosh for his Boundscript Motion Pictures and Gauri Khan and Gaurav Verma for Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment.
“Its a fresh take, fresh build up and the characterization is entirely new,” Bachchan told Variety. “It’s a reinterpretation of the film [“Kahaani”], that’s why Sujoy didn’t make it, he just wrote it. Diya, his daughter directed it. It’s a fresh take on the role and I hope people enjoy my interpretation of it.”
Bachchan describes Diya Annapurna Ghosh, who previously directed the short “Neighbourhood Ties” (2017) and served as an assistant director on “Badla” (2019), as a “pocket dynamo.” “She has a very definite vision for herself, which is so nice, so refreshing at such a young age,” said Bachchan. “Its astounding to see her command over her craft and her maturity in her first film. I love the gaze she has at Bob Biswas and his world.”
Bachchan had to go through a dramatic physical transformation for the film, including gaining a considerable amount of weight. He says that he is thankful for the opportunity to portray diverse and complex characters on screen.
Due to the pandemic, the screen in question is the small one and not cinema screens. After his successful streaming debut with Amazon Prime Video series “Breathe: Into the Shadows” (2020), Bachchan was due several big screen releases. However, as Indian cinemas remained shut, “Ludo” debuted on Netflix and “The Big Bull” bowed on Disney Plus Hotstar. Now “Bob Biswas” will premiere on ZEE5 from Dec. 3.
Bachchan says that streaming is a medium he is comfortable with and that while the industry is going through a transitional phase, in the next year or so there will be a “filtration system” that will see some genres going direct to digital and others to cinemas. ” ‘Bob Biswas’ was intended for theaters, but it also caters to an audience that’s patronizing streaming platforms,” said Bachchan.
Bachchan also finds time to promote his sports franchises. He owns Pro Kabaddi League franchise team Jaipur Pink Panthers, subject of the Amazon documentary series “Sons of the Soil: Jaipur Pink Panthers” (2020); and, along with sports entrepreneur Vita Dani and former Indian men’s cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Indian Super League soccer team Chennaiyin FC.
“It’s a space that I’m very passionate about,” said Bachchan. The actor adds that he loves the whole success story of kabaddi and how it has grown to become the second most watched league in India after the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. Going forward, Bachchan is looking at exploring further opportunities in homegrown Indian sports. About finding the time to juggle his profession and his passion, Bachchan says, “Where there’s a will there’s a way, there’s 24 hours in a day.”
Next up for Bachchan is Tushar Jalota’s “Dasvi,” a social comedy film with a political element. Post production is complete and the picture is due in the first quarter of 2022. Post production is also complete on “SSS-7” a remake of R. Parthiban’s Indian National Film Award winning Tamil-language film “Otha Seruppu Size 7,” starring and produced by Bachchan via family company AB Corp.
Bachchan is also reuniting with his “Paa” director R. Balki on an as-yet-untitled film that begins shooting in February 2022.