Arjun Rampal’s upcoming Hindi film, Daddy, sees him play a Godfather-esque don. Based on a true story, Rampal plays Mumbai-based politician and former gangster, Arun Gawli. A far cry from his regular brooding-self like in Rock On!!, Rampal actually manages to portray more than one emotion in this trailer.
Set in ’80s Mumbai, Daddy is a crime-thriller that will focus on the Mumbai underworld and Gawli’s stint as a don in Mumbai’s Dagdi Chawl. Gawli and his brother Kishor entered the underworld in the 1970s when they joined the “Byculla Company”, a criminal gang led by Rama Naik and Babu Reshim, operating in the central Mumbai areas of Byculla, Parel and Saat Rasta.
In 1988, after Rama Naik was killed in a police encounter, Gawli took over the gang and began operating it from his residence. This also led to a massive war between Dawood’s D-Company gang and Gawli’s gang that lasted from 1988 until the mid 1990s. It is said that Gawli’s gang were so brutal during the gang war that many D-Company gangsters like Sharad Shetty, Chhota Rajan, Chhota Shakeel and Sautya (Sunil Sawant) had to flee from Mumbai to Dubai.
Gawli had his first brush with politics when he got support from the then Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray. Later years saw Gawli have a fall-out with Shiv Sena, with him even murdering some Shiv Sena men and forming his own political party, the Akhil Bharatiya Sena.
In pop culture, Gawli has had biopics made on him. While Daddy is the latest one, in 2015, Makarand Deshpande played him in the Marathi movie, Daagdi Chaawl.
Arjun Rampal, in a recent interview, clarified that the film “is not an image-building exercise and steers clear of glorifying anything that is undesirable”. There will be more to the Hindi film as it shifts from one perspective to another, with the story spanning forty years.
South Indian actress Aishwarya Rajesh plays Gawli’s wife, Asha. She regards this film as a “performance-oriented” film, along with pegging it as a perfect Bollywood debut for her. Interestingly, we only catch glimpses of her in the trailer.
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia, Daddy is set to release on July 21.
Watch the trailer here: