Rangbaaz Darr Ki Rajneeti: Vineet Kumar Singh reacts to reports that show is based on Mohammad Shahabuddin
Vineet Kumar Singh and Aakanksha Singh, stars of Zee5’s Rangbaaz: Darr Ki Raajneeti, talk about the show, shooting during the pandemic, and Gangs of Wasseypur’s legacy.
The third installment of the crime drama Rangbaaz is set to stream on Zee5 from July 29. The new season, titled Darr Ki Raajneeti, stars Vineet Kumar Singh and Aakanksha Singh, and tells the story of a gangster-turned-politician from Bihar. The two actors interacted with Hindustan Times ahead of the show’s release to discuss the plot, similarities with real people and events, and shooting during the pandemic. Also read: Vineet Kumar Singh shares how real cops got mixed up with actors during Rangbaaz 3 shoot
In the show, Vineet plays a gangster-turned-politician named Haroon Shah Ali Baig. The character’s appearance and demeanour as well as the mention of Siwan in the show’s trailer led many to conclude the character is based on the late strongman-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin, who was the MP from Siwan. Vineet, however, says there is no connection. “It is set in a fictional place. Yes, there are several moments where you may feel that it is similar to something. But this world we have created is completely fictional. It has nothing to do with anybody. We are just trying to tell a good story. It’s an entertaining story but has nothing to do with a real person,” he shares.
Darr Ki Rajneeti enters a streaming eco-system quite densely populated with gangster dramas. But Aakanksha feels there is enough in the show that will set it apart. She says, “People like to see different content. Maybe the background is the same that it’s a political drama or a gangster’s story. But Rangbaaz is much more than that. When the character of Sana came to me, I was sure I wanted to do it because it was something substantial and at the same time very powerful. Then, it is a hit franchise so in that sense, you have that faith in the makers that they won’t go wrong.”
Aakanksha’s character is of Sana, Haroon’s wife, confidante and the show’s moral compass. The actor says her biggest draw was that she gets to play three different age groups here since the show spans three decades. “When they told me it’s a character that has three different age groups in the show, I was sold. That’s because as an actor, I really want to explore and perform better with each of my roles. It’s a kind of experiment for me because with age, your body language, the way you speak changes. It’s challenging as well,” she says.
The show was conceptualized and shot entirely post-pandemic, which meant that the initial script readings between the actors happened virtually, something Vineet does not find ideal. He laments, “Our work is all about emotion. When we meet and share some moments, it reflects in our work somewhere. Now, we only see part of a person on that zoom frame. One-to-one meetings reveal much more that is missing now.”
This isn’t Vineet’s first appearance in a gangster drama. One of his breakthrough roles was in Anurag Kashyap’s cult classic Gangs of Wasseypur, where he played Danish Khan, the older son of Sardar Khan (Manoj Bajpayee) and the brother of Faizal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Reminiscing about the film, Vineet calls it ‘historic’ and says, “I thank God that I got the opportunity to be part of such a film. Every year, it becomes bigger. We feel every year a new chapter opens in the story of that film. It isn’t ageing. The film has given so many artistes, not just on screen but behind the screen too. I remember I was once having a conversation with a senior production executive a few years ago about the film and he said it would not be made today because you won’t get the dates of all the people involved together. Everyone from that film has become so big now. Everyone’s calendar is locked for years.”