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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Anurag Basu says profound things by putting a smile on your face: Abhishek Bachchan

Ludo, also starring Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Aditya Roy Kapur and Rohit Saraf, will premiere on Netflix on November 12.

By: PTI | Mumbai |
November 8, 2020 2:07:23 pm
abhishek bachchan ludo anurag basuAbhishek Bachchan has collaborated with Anurag Basu for the first time on the upcoming dramedy, Ludo. (Photo: Instagram/abhishekbachchan)

Actor Abhishek Bachchan says he boarded the upcoming film Ludo knowing nothing about his character or a proper script brief only because he was drawn to the quirky, innocent world of director Anurag Basu.

The dark anthology combines crime with comedy and continues Basu’s fascination for chronicling charming, eccentric musicals after 2012’s Barfi! and Jagga Jasoos (2017).

In an interview with PTI over Zoom, Bachchan said Basu’s filmmaking of marrying profound messaging with simplicity is his strength.

“There’s a quirky outlook to life which comes out in his films. He says something profound simply and innocently, through a particularly coloured lens. It’s a pleasant experience.

“Anurag doesn’t make you realise the severity of what he has said to you, because he says it by putting a smile on your face. Which is the best and most efficient way to make a point,” the 44-year-old actor said.

Ludo is centered on the unavoidable jeopardy of life and follows four different stories, featuring an ensemble cast also including Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Rohit Saraf, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Pearle Maaney, Inayat Verma, Asha Negi and Shalini Vats.

Bachchan recalled meeting Basu over two years ago, when the film was in the planning stage, and said he committed instantly to the project.

In Ludo, scheduled to release on Netflix on November 12, Bachchan plays Bittu, a goon who turns over a new leaf after he meets a six-year-old girl, Mini (Verma).

The Manmarziyaan actor said he was only given a “brief” basic plot line narration by Basu, “that too much later”, and didn’t know anything about the character before the shoot.

“I just showed up. I didn’t even know the character is a father. It was only during the time I would go to his office for fittings, he’d tell me bits and pieces about the story. But I am accustomed to working like that, so it wasn’t scary for me.

“It isn’t the first time I’ve worked like this. When I started my career, most of the work used to happen like this. I was comfortable doing that and in fact, I enjoy it when I can completely lean on my director and follow their instinct,” Bachchan, who completed 20 years in the Hindi film industry in June, said.

Ludo gave the actor an opportunity to break free from the norms of rehearsals and made him realise why Basu doesn’t believe in giving too much information to his artistes.

“He doesn’t want to inhibit or shackle you in any direction. He tells you the situation, and let’s you interpret the way he wants. He gives an environment and looks for an unrehearsed response to a situation…The credit has to go to him for he never misplaced or mistreated the trust that we bestowed on him,” Bachchan said.

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