A film which didn't boast of any conventional mainstream hero/heroine and had an ensemble cast of Milind Soman, Dipannita Sharma, Danny Denzongpa, Aditi Govitrikar, Sushant Singh and Gulshan Grover, 16 DECEMBER was a success and paced way for Mani Shankar to make many more experimental films with technical finesse to boast.
However, it was only downhill from here because even
though he got big budgets for both his follow up films RUDRAKSH and TANGO CHARLIE, Mani Shankar didn't quite do justice to the execution. While his RUDRAKSH was a huge disappointment due to it's mumbo-jumbo narrative and an interesting concept going haywire, TANGO CHARLIE did have it's moments but the low points exceeded the positives.
With two back to back failures, Mani Shankar took a brief hiatus only to begin work on his next film MUKHBIIR. Though the film started more than two years back, it would only be in the middle of this year that MUKHBIIR is finally seeing the light of the day.
While Mani Shankar has also written the story and screenplay of MUKHBIIR, Sameer Dattani, Suneil Shetty and Om Puri are the chief protagonists of MUKHBIIR. The film has Raima Sen as the leading with Rahul Dev, Sushant Singh, Raj Zutshi and Kelly Dorjee completing the star cast. The film also features Jackie Shroff in guest appearance.
Rumoredly, MUKHBIIR is a spy thriller and looks at the functioning of intelligence agencies. As per Mani Shankar, "MUKHBIIR is an untold story of the espionage meeting the underworld. It talks of the kind of risks a 'mukhbir’ i.e. an informer has to take in his job."
MUKHBIIR is looking at a 30th May release.
Joginder Tuteja (SAMPURN)