Sanjay Gupta may not really be able to bring his own life story on the big screen for wider audience with everything seemingly over for Alibaug. Launched with much fanfare almost four years back, the film is completely on the backburner, so much so that even Gupta is unsure about any further progress on it.
Says a close friend of Gupta, "The film was a prestigious venture for Gupta, since it meant a diversion from the action fare being churned by his production house. He was looking at venturing into different cinema and while The Great Indian Butterfly and Pankh came in a little later, Gupta wanted Alibaug as his first take on some slice-of-life films. He was very attached to Alibaug as he wrote the film and had designed it as a quickie."
However, this was the time when tragedy struck. There was rift between Sanjay Gupta and Sanjay Dutt and though for quite some time, there was no official statement from any of the two; it was becoming clearer with every passing month that Alibaug seemed to be in jeopardy. There were some portions of Alibaug that were indeed shot with Sanjay Dutt but because the entire shoot was never completed; there was always a risk factor involved w.r.t. the film's completion.
For those who came in late, Alibaug was meant to be a totally 'hatke' affair for Dutt and Gupta as they were moving ahead of their action fares. Alibaug was meant to be a dramatic take on affairs that was closer to life and required Dutt to bring on certain sensitivity to the character which was based on Gupta's life. Though Dutt was a major star attraction here, the film had numerous other known names like Rohit Roy, Manasi Joshi Roy, R Madhavan, Mandira Bedi, Gul Panag, Sameer Soni, Sudhanshu Pandey, Sanjay Suri, Dia Mirza, Tisca Chopra, Parvin Dabbas and Masumeh Makhija filling in the cast.
However, as things stand today, this multi starrer is not making any progress. Though Gupta doesn't mouth the word 'shelved', he does admit that there is 'nothing happening' on his dream project. Says Sanjay in a resigned tone, "After it was decided that (Sanjay) Dutt won't be a part of Alibaug, things took a backseat. I did have detailed negotiations with Eros (the corporate house that was backing the project) that we go ahead and replace him with Irrfan Khan. We started the movie but then it all took a backseat all over again."
With an admittance coming from him, it indeed sounds disheartening that the maker won't be able to complete a project that was always so close to his heart.
Now with Gupta finally moving on and announcing his future plans, it is crystal clear that Alibaug has joined the list of those films that will only remain as a dream project for its makers and won't quite see the light of the day. One hopes though that a few months down the line, the project is revived, may be with a new cast, and completed for those who would have wished to have a dekko at sensitive cinema.