When pushed against a wall, even a cat strikes back and he was a father! This summarises the concept of A.B. Corp Ltd. and Satyajeet Movies P. Ltd.'s first joint venture VIRUDDH, written-directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham in pivotal roles, the film was launched on July 15 at Hotel Hyatt, Santacruz. An audio-visual presentation, depicting the essence of the film, was held before the Big B enacted a vital scene from the film for the august gathering. The film goes on floors this month and should hit the screens in May 2005. VIRUDDH is about an ordinary 60 plus couple - Vidhyadhar Patwardhan [Amitabh Bachchan] and his wife [Sharmila Tagore] - who are forced to search for their faith in human values and society after the death of their only son Amar [John Abraham]. In the process they undergo the most testing struggle of their lives. Sanjay Dutt plays a car mechanic whose garage is located in the vicinity of Patwardhan's residence. The cast also includes an international actor in the female lead, besides a host of well-known actors. To be made in Hindi and English languages simultaneously, VIRUDDH in Hindi and VERSUS in English, the seeds of the project were sown when Manjrekar was working with Big B in KAANTE. But we decided to make KUTUMBH in the meanwhile. Unfortunately, the plans of making KUTUMBH were aborted subsequently, but the desire to make a film with Big B continued to ignite within me. I decided to work on the story of VIRUDDH in the intervening period, Manjrekar had divulged to this writer during the I.I.F.A. weekend in Singapore, where the film was showcased to the global media. Getting the two veterans [Big B, Sharmila Tagore] wasn't problematical. They loved the script. I haven't attempted this genre before. It would be a treat to direct the two stalwarts. I am looking forward to that, he had stated. The Hindi version will be released in the domestic market, while the English version is targeted at the international territory.
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