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Showman roots for work on home-grown heroes
- Film-maker Subhash Ghai advocates govt encouragement for actors days before latest release

Dearth of talents is hardly something Bihar would lay claim to and “Showman” Subhash Ghai believes it too.

In a talk with The Telegraph on Tuesday night, Ghai urged the state government to promote talents to provide the Hindi film industry with leading stars.

Director of iconic films like Hero and Kalicharan, Ghai said: “The Bihar government should promote the film industry in the state. The state is immensely talented when it comes to acting. It has already given us actors like Shatrughan Sinha and Manoj Bajpayee, who have chalked out their own identity in Bollywood. With the Bihar government’s encouragement, more talents would come up.”

The 69-year-old Ghai, popularly called the Showman because of the scale of his films, was speaking over the phone from Kanpur days before the release of his latest offering — Kaanchi: The Unbreakable.

Over the years, he has given cine lovers some extremely memorable films, including Karz, Hero, Karma, Ram Lakhan, Saudagar, Khalnayak, Taal and Pardes. Some of his last films (Kisna, Black and White and Yuvvraaj) although failed to create magic at the box office.

Ready for Kaanchi’s release this Friday, Ghai is confident it would rock the box office and infuse the feeling of patriotism among youths.

He expects the film to do exceptionally well in the politically active states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bengal.

He said: “I know people are waiting for a big film from me with wholesome entertainment. Kaanchi has a great story with a big message. It is the story of the inner power of a woman who represents millions of suppressed youths fighting against injustice in the country. My cast has done a fantastic job. It’s a larger-than-life film and I am sure the audience will enjoy it.”

The lead role has gone to debutant Misthi (he is known for launching actresses, including Manisha Koirala and Mahima Chaudhry, in Bollywood) who has Karthik Aryan (from Pyaar ka Punchnama) for company.

Also present are two legends, including Karz’s Monty — Rishi Kapoor. Mithun Chakraborty, a Rajya Sabha MP, has essayed a powerful character as well.

Asked about chances of Kaanchi entering the Rs 100-crore club, Ghai said: “Time will tell, let the people of this country decide the movie’s fate.”

He is also not bothered about releasing his new film during the election. “It is a co-incidence that the film is releasing during the election. I never make a film with the release date in my mind.”

Asked about the changing times, he said: “I know time has changed but all kinds of movies have an audience and do business. Every director has his own painting (read idea) which people easily accept. Movies are like a dream and stories that are told emotionally are liked by all.

“People may feel how Kaanchi would be different when there have been so many women-centric movies already. At present, all I can say is watching Kaanchi the audience would have the same feeling they had while watching Taal, Pardes, Karz and Hero,” he added. So, does connecting with the new generation come easy to the man making films for close to 40 years? Ghai said: “It’s the naked truth. Our generation was about lihaaz (consideration). I loved films like Udaan, Dev D and Gangs of Wasseypur. But I cannot make these films. I belong to a retro world. But I can weave the modern language in my storytelling.”

Finally, on being called the “Showman”, Ghai said he sees one in every person. “I like being called a storyteller than a showman. It was a name given to me by the media and I happily accepted it.”