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‘Deadly Dutt’ back on Indian screens after jail time

September 23, 2017
This Aug 10 file photo shows Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt during the trailer launch of film ‘Bhoomi’ in Mumbai.—AFP
This Aug 10 file photo shows Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt during the trailer launch of film ‘Bhoomi’ in Mumbai.—AFP

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt returned to Indian cinema screens on Friday in his first film since serving four years in prison for possessing weapons supplied by gangsters behind the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

The disgraced star, 58, plays the role of a father who seeks revenge for the gang-rape of his daughter in Hindi-language action thriller “Bhoomi”, directed by Omung Kumar.

Dutt walked free from jail in 2016. He last appeared in a film in 2014 and promoters trailed Friday’s release with a poster on social media declaring: “The Beast is Back”.

“I’m very excited to see ‘Bhoomi’. I’m sure it will be a big hit,” said ardent fan Sandeep Bachche, who has a tattoo of Dutt’s face inked on his left arm.

The rickshaw driver has another tattoo referencing the title of one of Dutt’s most famous film roles while the inside of his three-wheeler is covered in posters of the actor. “I have booked tickets to watch three consecutive shows on the first day,” Bachche said, admitting that he would be watching them alone.

Dutt shot to fame in the mid-1980s in a string of action movies in which he performed his own stunts, earning him the nickname “Deadly Dutt”. He is best known for playing a mobster with a heart of gold in the popular “Munna Bhai” series.

Reviewers appeared lukewarm about “Bhoomi” but praised Dutt’s performance.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2017