Audience expectations are sky high when it comes to Singh Saab The Great
since it brings Anil Sharma and Sunny Deol together again. Call it a boon or a bane but the
hangover of Gadar – Ek Prem Katha is always going to be around for any and every film
that the duo does. That was the case in The Hero, Apne and it is but natural for the
talks to veer towards the all time blockbuster results that the 2001 release had fetched for the
two Punjabi men. Now that Singh Saab The Great is merely hours away from release, one
finds Anil Sharma in expectedly candid mood.
The film is fetching some good reports from the industry insiders, distributors as well as
exhibitors. You must be already finding yourself in a comfort zone?
When people expect a film to be something special right from the stage of announcement, it gives
me good strength to make it really worthy. Meri picture mein emotions sab tarah ke hote hain.
Navras ka main zaroor dhyaan rakhta hoon. Iska matlab agar action hai toh there would also be
laughter, thrill, drama – just about everything. Singh Saab is a man who would cover any
distance for his love and respect. The film tells the story of change which is necessary. It is
not about violence. This is what would strike a chord with the audience and if the response of
ladies during pre-release screenings is anything to go by, then the game is on.
With the film, you seem to be presenting raw action in its own new avatar?
When you set a film in a small town, you can’t have any spy action, like it was in The
Hero. So yes, there is raw action out there. See, Sunny and action go together. His eyes
have action and mera dil khush ho jaata hai jab mujhe uski aankhon mein gussa dikhaayi deta
hai kyunki woh character ko poora pakad leta hai. I think no one else can convey anger
better than him.
When your name is attached to a film, there is higher expectation of some raw drama in the
If there is no drama then what is life? Drama toh hamaari zindagi mein poora din hota hai,
roz-roz hota hai. That holds true in emotions of Singh Saab The Great as well. Sunny
and Prakash Raj have many good powerhouse scenes together. Then there is emotion between brother
and sister, where Anjali – who has worked in many serials – is playing Sunny’s sister. Then
there are emotions between Sunny and Urvashi – an ex-Miss Universe, who plays his wife. They
have some good scenes between them.
Since Sunny is expected to dominate screen time, how does Urvashi go beyond
song and dance routine?
As I said, in any film of mine, an emotional connect is a must. That can come in only when you
have a relationship between a man and a woman explored well. And for those who feel that men hog
all the space in my films, they should see my debut film Shradhanjali which had Rakhee
Gulzar playing the central protagonist.
There is Amrita Rao in the film too but she isn’t romantically paired with Sunny, right?
True. I wanted a small town journalist and in Amrita, I found a strong Indian quotient. She has
worked very hard for the film and in order to get the true essence of the character, she also
interacted with journalists.
Did you and Sunny have any specific conversation when you started working on the film? Did
you sit down and think about what to present to the audience that is worthy enough of the two of
you coming together?
We don’t think like that; we always think of a movie as a core first. I narrated the story to
Sunny and he was instantly excited. I never think that audience excited hai ki nahi. Main
pehle khud ko audience ki tarah rakhta hoon and then finalise a film. Moreover, I see every
new release on the opening weekend itself so I believe I have a good idea about what is working
with the audience.
A lot is riding on the film since you are coming after Veer and Sunny has been going through
a rough patch too. Did that make you extra cautious about putting together Singh Saab The
Whenever I make a film, it is always with an intention to do something marvellous. I make a film
as if I am making my first film. Even though I have been around for three decades, I still think
that I have not entered the industry. I think the struggle is still on. I want to be at the peak
that I desire. I need to see success. I am happy to be in a position that I am though because
once you reach the top, you can only go down. I have a lot to accomplish.