By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Sep 28 (IANS) Sanjay Dutt plays 'Sattarbhai', a bully who collects loan instalments from bank debtors, in his forthcoming film "EMI". The character has been inspired by a real-life collecting agent and the Bollywood actor spent a lot of time with him to get his act right.
"Sanju sir's character is modelled on a real-life agent. In fact, the whole film's plot about all these debt collectors who have the thankless job of getting bank loans back from debtors was inspired by the real-life Sattarbhai," said TV tsarina Ekta Kapoor, who is co-producing the film with Suniel Shetty.
The real-life character's identity is, however, being kept a secret right now.
Said Suniel Shetty: "We don't want the real Sattarbhai to come into the picture until Sanju baba's fictional avatar is properly unveiled to the public."
Sanjay Dutt met, interacted with and studied the real-life Sattarbhai very closely to get into the skin of the character. And he was glad that he wasn't playing an underworld gangster yet again.
"This is my most seriously funny and socially relevant character since Munnabhai. And I'm happy to be doing something that doesn't require me to go into the underworld," he quipped.
As for the real Sattarbhai, he is free to share the thrill of the film unless he suddenly decides to demand a bigger share in the movie's investments.
This isn't the first time this question has cropped up. When Preity Zinta played a real-life battered wife in Deepa Mehta's "Heaven On Earth", the woman who inspired the character suddenly came forward to demand a huge amount of money.
"She demanded an obscenely astronomical sum of money that really put Deepa Mehta off," a member of the "Heaven On Earth" team said.
However, producers Ekta and Suniel seem pretty sure their real character won't suddenly demand his pound of flesh.
"He's more than happy to be a role model for a character that Sanju baba is playing. We'll include him in the promotional events of 'EMI' very soon," said Suniel.
There's also the debate of "EMI" sharing its title with the international music label. Any copyright hassles on the anvil?
"But we've registered our title. And EMI is accepted bank jargon, short for Equated Monthly Instalments. If EMI is a music company, then we're glad to be keeping such musical company," Suniel joked.