UTV Motion Pictures put on an elaborately choreographed press conference in London on Wednesday for the official trailer launch of Prakash Jha's latest offering, 'Satyagraha', although the excitement seemed to escape the films' star Ajay Devgn, who looked as enthusiastic as Anna Hazare on an interminable hunger strike.
Or perhaps it was part of the elaborate choreography.
Devgn was joined by co-star Kareena Kapoor - who looked utterly sensational - in London whilst other members of the films' ensemble cast, including Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bhajpayee, joined director Jha in Mumbai for the launch.
'Satyagraha' follows a now-familiar pattern for the director who has made a career out of making socio-political dramas, although the similarity in narratives and muddled messages emanating from his most recent work has been a cause of concern.
Whilst the film is clearly inspired by recent protest movements involving the disillusioned masses rising up against corrupt/incompetent/autocratic governments - including protests by the Gandhi-esque Anna Hazare in 2012 - Mr Jha insists it's not.
“The film is not based on Anna Hazare and has nothing to do with the movement”, he says.
"The entire process of Satyagraha comes from Gandhiji. Mr Bachchan plays the role of a Satyagrahi who believes in truth,” he adds.
Devgn, whose last outing was the disastrous and distinctly un-political 'Himmatwala', plays the hero, a wealthy businessman who becomes disenchanted with the system whilst Kareena Kapoor plays an "international journalist".
The actors strongly reiterated their director's message insisting that their roles were inspired by "normal" people, although Kareena did reveal that she drew inspiration - like countless others have before her - from Bharka Dutt and Christiane Amanpour.
Unlike Dutt and Amanpour however, Kareena manages to look resplendent whilst being hosed down by a water cannon, shouting over barriers and participating in a candle-lit vigil at 4.00 am.
The hero of the film is Devgn whose tycoon character joins Arjun Rampal - who plays the most handsome political thug in all of India - and Kareena's characters in supporting Satyagrahi Bachchan in Jha's favourite city in the world; Ramnagar.
As Mr Bachchan lies on a stage fasting unto death, Devgn breaks into song in an apparent attempt at showing solidarity.
Manoj Bhajpai plays a slimy politician. Again.
The film also features the talents of Amrita Rao.
The highlight of the trailer is undoubtedly the Big B unleashing a good old-fashioned 'Thappad' on a hapless government official; a slap that caused such a frenzy that the organizers of the London press conference were forced to play the two-and-a-half minute trailer three times. Or was it thrice?
'Satyagraha' is in cinemas August 23.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS