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I was jealous when I watched Sooryavanshi in a cinema hall– Milap Zhaveri

It is out and out a brand new plot and has nothing to do with the earlier Satyameva Jayate.





Is your film Satyameva Jayate 2 a sequel in the sense that it starts where the original Satyameva Jayate ended?

It is out and out a brand new plot and has nothing to do with the earlier Satyameva Jayate. If John Abraham played one single lead role of Veer Rathod in Satyameva Jayate with Manoj Bajpayee, in the sequel, he plays a triple role with three different characters- namely Satya Azad, Jaya Azad and Dadasaheb .

In what way is it similar or different from Satyameva Jayate?

The issue that it sets out to tackle is the same though it has a different plot of its own. If Satyameva Jayate tackled the corruption that exists in police, the sequel tackles the level of corruption that exists in the national political level. Besides John Abraham, the other similar factors in Satyameva Jayate 2 are Nora Fatehi who I consider is my lucky mascot, the power packed action scenes and my dialogue baazi.

In what way is John Abraham different in each character that he sets out to play in Satyameva Jayate 2?

If one John Abraham takes the law in his own hands, the other sets out to safeguard the law as its custodian. The third John plays a pivotal role called Dadasaheb, who is larger than life and a God-like patriotic in the real sense of the term, who is the father of both the John Abrahams. In fact the role of Dadasaheb is so powerful that though I had written only two roles for John initially, I insisted that he alone play the character of Dadasaheb since he was any day better than the other two characters.

Did he immediately agree to play a triple role?

I told him that I did not think of any other actor who could pull off the role especially since the role of Dadasaheb was any day better than the two roles that he was playing and any other actor would pale in front of him and he agreed to play the father ‘s role too. I told him of the role that Vijay had played in the Tamil film Merisal and Rajnikant had essayed in the Tamil film John Johny Janardhan with aplomb

In general, John Abraham’s ability to emote is always a question mark. How did you think of casting him in not just one but a triple role in your film, as a director?

Let me answer your question frankly. If only John Abraham had not agreed to act in my Satyameva Jayate, I would not have been sitting in front of you for this interview. Though it is extremely difficult to pull off commercial cinema, you should not deny John’s evolution as an actor today. I have no hesitation to say that he is my real life hero. According to me, he is the real super star who has reposed so much of trust in me and also it is a fact that I am a true fan of John Abraham in real life.

What message does your film Satyameva Jayate 2 set out to drive home?

All my films, whether it was Satyameva Jayate or Marjaavaan, come with their own strong messages. Satyameva Jayate 2 also has its own brand of patriotic message. And patriotism does not necessarily mean jingoism. All three heroes of my film represent the harmony of the united country today years after it had attained its independence from the British.

Tell me frankly, why did you decide to cast Divya Khosla Kumar as John Abraham’s leading lady in your film Satyameva Jayate 2?

It is very easy for anyone to think that I have cast Divya Khosla Kumar just because she happens to be the wife of Bhushan Kumar. The fact is that my producer Monisha Advani herself had suggested Divya’s name. Divya is extremely pretty and also quite talented. Also I wanted to cast an actress who has no baggage and is not insecure. Just because she is Bhuhsna Kumar’s wife, why should people think that she lacks talent and cannot just act? After all, hasn’t Divya been part of several music videos in the past?

Is that the only reason why you opted for Divya?

Let’s face facts. I was actually making a film with not just one but three John Abrahams. If I had approached any other reigning actress, she would have hesitated to be a part of the film wondering what role on earth she had to play in the film. Isn’t it? Divya is a very secure actress and what I liked was she said that it was John’s film but since it was a strong woman oriented part that I was offering her in the film, she would be only too glad to be part of it. Frankly, I’d say that it was her magnanimity that she agreed to do the role.


I was happy that Divya agreed because I had faced several hassles over casting when I made Satyameva Jayate when established actresses felt that the film belonged to only John Abraham and Manoj Bajpayee and they would be reduced to zero in comparison in the film.

How did you succeed in convincing a mainstream film with John Abraham who is associated with only films with off-beat themes like Parmanu, Batla House and Madras Café?

The mainstream commercial cinema is the only cinema that works today. Long before Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi was released, I had shouted from the rooftops that the film would soar greater heights at the box office. The Telugu film Vakeel Saab, the Tamil film Master and the Punjabi film Chal Mere Puth 2 also ran because of the content that they had and if you have the content, your film will click. Didn’t Marvel too click in a big way though it is also a masala film? Even when the pandemic was on, though Satyameva Jayate 2 was ready and there were even plans to stream it on an OTT platform, I requested the producers to have patience and only release it in theatres because I had confidence in my film. Red Notice was the worst film rated by the critics but it is the biggest film streamed on Netflix

Your films are well known for your power packed dialogues. What did you like the best about Sooryavanshi?

I was very jealous when I saw Sooryvanshi and the way the audience reacted to each and every scene, especially the scene where the Muslims are helping in carrying the Ganpati idol for immersion. I cursed myself as a writer for not having conceived a sequence like that in any of my films. If you remember, even in my film Marjavaan, there was a scene where Shaad Randhawa is doing his namaaz even when he is being attacked in the mosque? Undoubtedly in future people will refer to Indian cinema as pre Sooryvanshi and post Sooryavanshi though earlier it was being referred to as pre Sholay and post Sholay.

The John Abraham starrer Mumbai Saga flopped at the box office when it was released earlier this year. Are you not scared?

Look here. Siddharth Malhotra had not given even a single hit for six years when my film Marjaavan was released but my film broke the records. As far as I am concerned, John Abraham is my Amitabh Bachchan and when he has reposed so much of trust in me, I will not let him down and am confident that my film will prove to be a massive hit and my gut feeling tells me that.

You started your career as a writer and then made your debut as a director. Have you stopped taking up assignments as director?

Though I am ready even today to write films for others, unfortunately producers and directors are not asking me to write subjects for them as they feel that I will reserve the best plots for my own films though it is not true.

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