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All for Garv



Salman Khan in "Garv", releasing this Friday.

ANOTHER WEEK, another film on the police force. This time it is called Garv and debutant director Punit Issar seems conscious of the comparisons.

He skirts by putting it as a Salman Khan film. "You have seen Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar many times in uniform. Salman is playing it after a long time. Then it is my vision of the system. In fact, Salman is playing me. It's an emotional tale but no preaching."

Salman is donning the police cap after Patthar Ke Phool and Punit says he fits the character of Arjun Ranawat fully. Punit promises the film is more than how an honest officer is forced to take law in his own hands when his family is targeted.

"It is about how a person reacts when he is trapped by the system. He doesn't want to live. Salman is supposed to play a mature person who speaks very little. The character has shades of his real personality." Was it a risk worth taking? "Bad publicity is also publicity. I know him for last 20-22years, he can give his life for his friends." However, issue here is what he does to his foes.

Punit's shift to direction is not sudden he has already directed popular serials Hindustani and Jai Mata Ki, with Hema Malini in the lead.

He negates he has assorted industry's top villains including Amrish Puri, Mohan Joshi, Anupam Kher and Mukesh Rishi out of friendship. "Script required a number of villains and all are not playing negative parts." Are all positive characters sticking to their image? "I can't guarantee anything before the release," says Punit putting a question mark over the twist Arbaaz Khan's character might take in the film.

Though he became a villain when he almost knocked off Amitabh Bachchan but Punit really crossed the negative line with realistic portrayal of Duryodhan in Mahabharat. However, he sounds ambivalent on the point of real hard men are seldom slotted as heroes in Hindi films. "I believe in characters rather than length of the roles. My positive character in Border is still remembered. As for toughies Dharmendra, Sunny and Salman are all real strong." Leaving nothing to chance, Punit has Shilpa Shetty in the role of a bar dancer, three music directors to help her perform, an item number by Reshma Bombaywala of "Shehri babu" fame to keep the stalls buzzing and even reticent Salman will be seen in a tapori song to attract whistles from the front rows.

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