With the final shoot completed in the second week of July, Salman Khan held a private screening of his home production, Antim: The Final Truth, for the members of his staff at his Panvel farmhouse last week. Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, the movie stars Salman’s brother-in-law, Aayush Sharma, Pragya Jaisal, Mahima Makwana and Jisshu Sengupta, and is an official remake of the Marathi film, Mulshi Pattern.
Says a source in the unit, “Salman held a screening of Antim at his Panvel farmhouse last week. Social distancing and strict safety protocols were maintained by those while watching the movie at his farmhouse. Everyone in his staff, from the cook to his security staff, driver, and some of the people who work on his farm, watched a rough cut. Salman likes to watch his films multiple times before release to check if it needs any work.”
The source adds that Salman knows that those who have watched the rough cut will not leak out the news about the film. “He trusts his staff completely. They have been with him for years through his highs and lows and always give him honest feedback. Salman was watching it and he wanted his staff’s opinion as Antim is a commercial, mass-oriented entertainer.”
Mahesh Manjrekar has adapted the story of Mulshi Pattern for a pan-Indian audience. Salman essays the role of a Punjabi cop, while Aayush plays a gangster called Rahulya. Apart from producing the movie, Antim is a film Salman has personally and emotionally invested in, as Aayush plays the protagonist and a challenging character. It’s a kind of relaunching pad for Aayush who has gone to great lengths and a complete makeover to portray his role convincingly against Salman’s larger-than-life persona on screen.
Apparently, Salman’s staff loved Varun Dhawan’s Ganpati song with Salman and Aayush. “It is one of the highlights of Antim as is Bhai ka birthday song. The Ganpati song is a peppy dance track choreographed by Mudassar Khan. The song, composed by Hitesh Modak, is titled Dev Bappa Ganesha and was shot in Film City in Mumbai in January this year,” the source shares.
Antim has been shot during the pandemic and is one of the fastest movies Salman has completed. He began shooting for Antim in the first week of December last year and wrapped up the final schedule earlier this month. The lead cast led by him, Pragya, Aayush and Mahima shot in and around Mumbai at Film City, a bungalow in Byculla and Mumbai Mills over the last week. Salman’s makeup artist, Raju Nag, and bodyguard, Shera, have done cameos in the movie.
While a teaser of Salman and Aayush locking horns was launched in February this year, the makers were about to release the first poster (with Antim’s release date in October) around March end, when the second wave struck. While the makers are aiming for a theatrical release, at this point there are too many films waiting in the queue, so even they don’t know what will happen next and are keeping all options open.
Salman wanted a gap of four to five months between the release of Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai (which came out on May 13) and Antim. The makers don’t want to have a back-to-back release of two Salman Khan movies. But as of now everything is on hold and the film will be released after October. People’s frame of mind is sombre after what they have gone through and it would be insensitive to launch any kind of promotional material at the moment. So, the makers decided to take some time off and figure out their next move instead of announcing the film and trying to market it as it is difficult to sustain a campaign for five-six months. Antim is still in the editing and post-production phase with VFX, dubbing, etc., going on.
Mahesh and Salman had finalised two posters for the March launch – first a poster with Aayush and Mahima and the second with Salman and Pragya. The idea was to have multiple posters and trailers, which are ready. This way they can decide what to showcase well, including a romantic song composed by Sajid-Wajid and picturised on Salman and Pragya, and the rest of the songs (composed by Hitesh Modak) and picturised on Aayush and Mahima.
Mulshi Pattern was helmed by Marathi actor-filmmaker Pravin Tarde. It is the story of a young man becoming a gangster after his father’s land is sold to corporates through gangsters.
Mahesh Manjrekar’s Antim: The Final Truth, which went on the floors from November 16 in Pune, had his son, Satya, assisting him on the sets and daughter, Ashwami, being part of the crew too.
Salman and Mahesh share an 11-year-long relationship. They first worked together in Prabhu Deva’s Wanted, and the actor-filmmaker’s children also share a warm relationship with the star. Interestingly, Mahesh's other daughter, Saiee, made her Bollywood debut with Dabangg 3 opposite Salman Khan lead last year.
Shabina Khan and Mudassar Khan have choreographed the dance tracks in Antim, which includes a love track composed by Vishal Mishra. Antim: The Final Truth also has Nikitin Dheer in a pivotal role.