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Akshay beats Aamir to make a film on Nanavati murder case

Well before Rustom was conceived, Neerja director Ram Madhvani had approached Aamir with a script inspired by the 1959 case

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Akshay beats Aamir to make a film on Nanavati murder case

Neerja director Ram Madhvani must be wringing his hands with despair now that the Akshay Kumar movie, Rustom, is up for release on August 12.

Image Source: Manav Manglani

How come? tells you why.

For starters, it’s no secret that Rustom is heavily inspired by the real-life Nanavati murder case of 1959. Naval Commander K M Nanavati had shot dead Prem Ahuja, the paramour of his wife Sylvia, in April 1959.

The film directed by debutant Tinu Suresh Desai features Ileana D’Cruz and Arjan Bajwa besides Akshay Kumar.

What isn’t known is that the Akshay Kumar team has managed to do what other Bollywood filmmakers have been trying to do since years. According to insiders, Madhvani had a well-researched script ready on absolutely similar lines and had offered the lead role to Aamir Khan. Not surprisingly, Aamir kept Madhvani on hold for an inordinately long time.

Subsequently Akshay Kumar has won the race to star in a film inspired by a true-life crime de passion. A couple of years ago, Alia Bhatt’s mother Soni Razdan was all set to direct a film inspired by the Nanavati case, which would topline Arjun Rampal but it fell through the cracks.

Image Source: twitter/AkshayKumar

Way back in 1963, R K Nayyar had directed the black-and-white film Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke – remembered to this day for its chartbusting title song – which starred Sunil Dutt, Leela Naidu and Rehman. However, it was claimed that the film was a work of fiction by the late Leela Naidu in her biography.

The song Sylvia, picturised on Anushka Sharma in Bombay Velvet, is said to be inspired by the “tabloid perception of the story”, according to director Anurag Kashyap. Whatever that means.

Indeed, Bollywood’s fascination with the Nanavati case is inexhaustible.

Incidentally, on a totally different and coincidental plane, the Hollywood film No Way Out (1987) toplining Kevin Costner, Sean Young and Gene Hackman was also about a top naval officer who is involved in a ménage a trois, which culminates in a murder.

Thumbnail Image Source: Manav Manglani

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