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Thread: When Big B became newscaster
01-07-2010, 12:40 AM #1
When Big B became newscaster
Amitabh Bachchan knows how to get under the skin of the character he’s playing on screen. In 2009, he did it with Paa; now, in 2010, he’s doing
it for Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann in which he plays Vijay Harshwardhan, a media baron in search of a balanced equilibrium between news and sensationalism. Not strangely, this is something the Big B has been hoping to see in the Indian media for long. And, he carried his convictions on the question of media credibility beyond his screen role by appearing on national television last week and reading out an incisive and indepth wrap-up of the year that was.
Rann’s co-producers Madhu Mantena and Sheetal Talwar were not surprised by the exciting response this promo for the media-based film got. “When it comes to Mr Bachchan, nothing is surprising. We planned this to coincide with the release of the film and it was shown on English and Hindi news channels and also played across 36 cities on radio,” said Madhu. Sheetal added, “Most films are promoted on television through their music and this may have no bearing on the film’s theme. Ours is the first film promoting itself via the media, it addresses itself to in the theme. Rann is about the relationship between the electronic media and the conscience. And Mr Bachchan’s character from the film spills over into real life without any effort.”
The national programming head of the radio station that broadcast the Big B’s year-ender was also delighted with the appreciative response from listeners. “Having the man who epitomises Bollywood in India was a fantastic thing, his character and persona as a newscaster was extremely impressive, and the top news he selected to read reflected the sentiments of millions of listeners.” Which is true, because the celeb newsreader picked up hard-hitting issues ranging from the trial of Kasab and swine flu to the recession and rise of the Indian cricket team.
RGV, in tribute to Bachchan’s angry young man days of Zanjeer, Deewar and Agneepath, named the actor’s character ‘Vijay’ in his film. But Madhu said, “This Vijay is angry about issues that the Vijay in Deewaar and Zanjeer could never have thought of — the way the media is misused for power politics. When he read out 2009’s most powerful news stories on television, Mr Bachchan wasn’t playing a role... he was expressing his deepest concerns as an Indian through observations that have a bearing on every individual in our society.”