Arjun Rampal
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; August 8, 2017)

Arjun Rampal’s uncanny resemblance to gangster-politician Arun Gawli in the biopic, Daddy, has been the talk of the town since the first teaser was released in December last year. During the same time, mid-day had spoken to Gawli’s daughter Geeta Gawli, who had asserted that they won’t allow the film to release until her father has seen it.

Speaking to mid-day recently, Rampal revealed that Gawli, who is currently lodged in Nagpur jail, has already seen the movie. When asked about Gawli’s reaction to the Ashim Ahluwalia-directed biopic, the actor said, “It’s not an easy film to digest, it is really hard-hitting. So, [it leaves you] a bit stunned. I think [the film] took him back to his past and he was thinking about Rama and Babu [his close associates]. [After watching the film], he said, ‘Tune to sab kuch dikha diya hai.’ He was happy with the film.”

Rampal, who is also the producer of the biopic, added that Gawli had a few suggestions. “He felt certain situations weren’t correctly depicted by us. His arguments were justified. He expressed his apprehensions about a certain character — he said, ‘This person wouldn’t react in this manner. So, can you fix that?’ These were minor tweaks and we gladly incorporated them. I think his suggestions actually helped the film.”

While Rampal was more than eager to talk at length about the film, he clammed up when probed on whether he arranged a special screening of the film in jail for Gawli. Refusing to divulge any details, he simply said, “I cannot reveal anything.”

When we got in touch with Geeta, she revealed that her father watched the biopic about two months ago. “Parole main bahar aaye thhe [he was out on parole]. That’s when he saw the film in bits and parts. He was happy with the way it had shaped up.”

Gawli, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a sessions court in Mumbai in 2012, was granted a 28-day furlough on April 27 this year. It is presumably then that he saw the film.

File photo of Arun Gawli