Director Shoojit Sircar who made the unreleased Johnny Mastana with the Big B, is all set to release a documentary on the Big B which would reveal the mega-star in moods never seen before. The film that Sircar is now putting together is based on the extensive tours of Gujarat that the director undertook when he shot 14 films promoting Gujarat tourism.
Shoojit describes it as an eye-opening experience. “Mr. Bachchan and I travelled to nearly 25 towns’ cities and villages of Gujarat to shoot these films. Initially I was excited by seeing facets of Gujarat that I had never seen before. Then I realized I was traveling across Gujarat with the coolest co-traveler in the world. Mr. Bachchan’s energy-level, his poise in front of 60,000 fans… most important of all, his inner tranquility in those rare moments when he was without hordes of people staring, cheering, demanding his time…I was simply blown away by the way he approaches life and people.”
Luckily, Sircar shot ample footage of the Big B in his candid moments. These would now be put together in what promises to be a rare insight into the heart mind and soul of India’s greatest actor.
The footage that Sircar is putting together would be accompanied by reflections from the Big B’s personal diary. Says Sircar, “We shot the 14 films for Gujarat tourism in 5 phases, the architecture of Gujarat, the Buddhist culture (which no one knows about), the handicraft, the religious rituals and the festival. Through this journey I had the rare privilege of observing Mr. Bachchan in crowds and alone. To my good fortune, I shot footage with him in both capacities.”
Shoojit would like to think he has rare candid footage of the Big B. “In Ahmedabad, when we shot the kite-flying ceremony he was surrounded by 50,000 people and still jumped right into the milling crowds without a fear. In a remote part of Gujarat, Mr. Bachchan drove a phat-phatiya (3-wheeler) with a bunch of villagers…He hopped onto a bike and drove down a highway…It was an amazing experience.”
But the most heart-in-the-mouth moment, captured in the documentary, was when Mr. Bachchan insisted on going into a 300-feet deep well.
Recalls Shoojit, “We wanted to shoot one of the deepest wells in the country. Mr Bachchan suggested he climb down to show just how deep it is. We thought he was joking…but no. He actually went down the iron pegs inside the well right down where even the camera couldn’t see him.”
Shoojit claims tourism in Gujarat has multiplied by five times since the Big B became the state’s brand ambassador. “All the Patels who had left Gujarat for abroad are returning to start business ventures in India.”