Shoot For Salman Khan’s ‘Mental’ Comes To A Stand-still


LAVASA: Salman Khan who is currently shooting action sequences in Lavasa for brother Sohail Khan’s ‘Mental’ is facing a lot of trouble keeping an action free environment on the sets.

Salman Khan’s shoot of ‘Mental’ in Lavasa has come to a screeching halt over simmering tension between action artistes from Mumbai and Hyderabad. The spat is over allegations that the production team is biased towards Bollywood performers. Trouble erupted between the two sides over the weekend when the 30-strong south-based group discovered there were only three southern fighters for every seven from Mumbai, not to mention they were being paid 50 per cent less than their local peers.

The disgruntled artistes put their foot down and refused to shoot until their demands were met, and even called up Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) officials in Mumbai, but only to be told that their argument held no water.

Finally, two senior officials of Film Employees’ Federation of South India (FEFSI), Shiva and Vijayan (President of FEFSI), were flown into Mumbai to help resolve the dispute. However, the FEFSI and FWICE officials were unable to reach a conclusion.

A Source from FWICE said:  “When they shoot Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam or Kannada films in Mumbai, we ensure there are more representatives from the South in every department. Their demand for equal representation is unjustified.”

Salman and Sohail Khan failed to make Shiva and Vijayan understand their approach towards the artists which resulted in the duo returning back with the entire south group of action artists. Now Salman and Sohail are left with nothing other than a great location and inadequate number of fighters to shoot the action sequence with.

A source from the film unit said, “The entire action sequence has come to a standstill over this imbroglio. Our worst fears are coming true. If we don’t get competent fighters from Mumbai to fill in the vacancies, we may have to revisit Lavasa at a later date to shoot the action scenes.”

A senior FWICE official, on condition of anonymity, said, “Salman and Sohail will either have to appoint some fighters from Mumbai, who can join them immediately. Or they will have to wind up the schedule without much of the action, which will be contrary to the original plan. Again, it’s not going to be easy getting the kind of fighters they want from Mumbai at such short notice.”

Amusingly, Salman and Vijayan have been friends for a long time now. Vijayan was the ‘Chief Fight Master’ in many of Salman’s recent hits including ‘Wanted’, ‘Dabangg’ and ‘Bodyguard’. It was only after ‘Bodyguard’ that Vijayan went on to become the FEFSI President. Vijayan’s decision regarding the Southern action artists marks a big fallout between Salman and him.