Mukesh Khanna aka Shaktiman, who's starring in his first Marathi film, Ardha Gangu Ardha Gondya, mouths dialogue “Maazi takat” - from the movie - flexing his muscles for effect.
“Watch out for this dialogue. It will be on everyone's lips after the movie releases on May 27th,” Khanna, dressed in white shirt-trousers with a beige stole draped around his shoulders, tells Sakal Times.
Khanna, who is essaying the role of a municipal corporator, and has also produced the movie, says Ardha Gangu and Ardha Gondya is a tribute to Dada Kondke's brand of cinema.
“Dada Kondke's entry in the movie is the hatke factor,” claims Khanna, while digging into butter roti, dal and subji.
Telling us briefly about the story, Khanna says, “Dada Kondke's atma is the guiding force for the “duplicate” actors who want to make it big in the film industry. There's a film within a film. Govinda is a struggling actor who makes it big towards the end with the help of Kondke and his mother's wishes.”
The relationship between mother and son is also a hook of the picture. Taking a leaf out of Kondke's life, where his mother couldn't see Kondke's success, in the film Govinda's mother's willpower permits her to bask in the son's glory.
Kondke's role has been performed by Pramod Nanawade, a close associate of the comedian.
The movie, which will be released first in Pune, will be later screened in other cities and towns depending on the initial response.
“We have just two prints of the movie. We will first release it in Pune and then move to other areas. I want people of Sangli, Ichalkaranji to come and see it because they will identify with the aspiration, struggle and migration to Mumbai to fulfill dreams as depicted in the film,” says Khanna.
It is the “migration factor” that has prompted the popular TV star to open his first film institute, Shaktiman Film Institute, in Jaipur.
“In our times, there was just one film institute in Pune and all the aspiring actors and directors would flock to FTII. I plan to open one acting/film institute in every city of the country so that the youngsters can study under their parents or guardian's supervision,” he says.
The creator of the original Indian superhero reveals that Shaktiman will soon be broadcast on television as an animated series.
“Big Animation, a studio in Pune, is handling the animation part. I also hope to release the serial with 3D effects. We are shooting some episodes in that format. And, of course I also want to make a superhero film,” says Khanna.
Talking of his connect with children because of Shaktiman, Khanna says that he wants to form a corporation of children's films, which will produce movies for kids and also finance them.
When we asked him about Bhishma-pitah like role, Khanna says, “I don't want to grow my beard anymore. Most of the mythological roles require the actors to wear long hair and beard and I don't want to do it. So mythological roles are passe now. But, in case there's a good offer, I might consider it.”
He, however, seems excited about acting in his second Marathi film, which he refuses to name.