Rahul Dholakia has re-worked Shah Rukh's look and accent in Raees. "He plays a man from the ghetto in Gujarat. He will dress and speak in a particular manner." The idea for the film started on the issue of Prohibition. "We wanted to make a film on the issue. And since Gujarat is the only state that has Prohibition, we decided to locate our plot in Gujarat."
The buzz is that Shah Rukh Khan plays a true-life character in Raees. Says Rahul, "His character started off as a real-life person. But as we wrote and re-wrote several drafts of the script, Shah Rukh's character become more and more fictional."
Raees, the film about Prohibition in Gujarat, will be largely shot by its fine director Rahul Dholakia on a sprawling set in Mumbai representing the slums of Ahmedabad.
The last time Rahul was in Gujarat was to shoot Parzania that hard-hitting National-award winning film on the 2002 communal carnage in the State. But no, Raees and Shah Rukh Khan are not staying away from Gujarat because of the bitter aftermath of Parzania.
Explains Rahul, "It's very practical and logical to not take Shah Rukh Khan into the crowds. He is a star with a mammoth following. And he has a massive following in Gujarat. To shoot with him on the streets in Ahmedabad is not only impractical it's probably suicidal. I remember when we were shooting with Sanjay Dutt in Kashmir for Lamha. Huge crowds would gather and obstruct the shooting."
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