Dawood or no Dawood for Nikhil Advani's D-Day?
Rishi Kapoor is livid. At first the brilliant actor was categorically told he was playing the exiled alleged gangster Dawood Ibrahim in Nikhil Advani's D-Day. In fact the title itself alludes to Dawood's extrication from his daughter's wedding by four RAW agents.
But then there was a lot of pressure on the film's team to alter the 'D' factor and deflect attention from the real character.
Like Sanjay Gupta in Shootout At Wadala, Nikhil Advani was left with no choice but to change the key outlawed character's name.
But now a front-page interview with Rishi Kapoor claims the actor plays Dawood in the film. The interview has triggered off a panic attack among the film's team who are now frantically trying to complete the film's post-production while avoiding trouble from international crime syndicates.
Taking a breather from his frenetic post-production work, Nikhil says, "The journalist decided on her own to question Rishiji about playing Dawood. I completely deny that Rishiji is playing Dawood. He plays an exiled crime lord named Iqbal. If there are similarities to Dawood it can't be helped. All art basically needs to borrow from real-life headlines. It doesn't mean we are making a feature film on any specific person in the news."
The rigid note of caution, we hear, comes after the alarm bells from Dubai went off when the interview describing Rishi Kapoor as Dawood appeared in a daily.
One also hears that members of the cast including Rishi Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Irrfan Khan have been summoned on Sunday to re-dub some of their more controversial lines. Apparently the director had to spend a lot of agonizing time explaining to "powerful forces" that the character has no direct affinity to Dawood.
Says Nikhil angrily, "Why is so much being made out of one character's resemblance to someone we all know? I am being asked how a director of such emotional films as Kal Ho Na Ho, Salaam-e-Ishq and Patiala House can handle an action film. But there is so much more to D- Day than the action involving the extrication of a wanted criminal from Karachi. The drama and emotions is the mainstay, not just the action scenes."
Nikhil admits that the cast was called on Sunday to do some additional dubbing. "But the film is in live sync-sound. We have to dub some of the lines because the dialogues were drowned during the action. That's all."