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Anil Kapoor, Rakesh Roshan Remember Acclaimed 'Fight Master' Veeru Devgan

Rakesh Roshan, Anil Kapoor and Shakti Kapoor speak of their admiration for Veeru Devgan, one of the most acclaimed stuntmen and action director Bollywood has ever seen.

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Updated:May 28, 2019, 4:24 PM IST
Anil Kapoor, Rakesh Roshan Remember Acclaimed 'Fight Master' Veeru Devgan
Ajay Devgn carries the mortal remain of his father action director Veeru Devgan during his funeral in Mumbai. (Image: PTI)

Veteran action director Veeru Devgan passed away due to cardiac arrest on Monday in Mumbai. The father of actor Ajay Devgn, the late action director, who is credited with choreographing more than 80 films, passed away at the Surya Hospital, Santa Cruz.

Known across the film industry for his excellent work, Veeru Devgan made his directorial debut with 1999 film Hindustan Ki Kasam, featuring Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan, Manisha Koirala and Sushmita Sen. This was his only film as director.

In a recent interaction with Mid-Day, Anil Kapoor, Shakti Kapoor and Rakesh Roshan shared their thoughts regarding the late action director. In a guest column published in Mid-Day, Anil Kapoor recounts that 'Veeru paaji' made action sequences look thrilling at a time when there were no special effects or technology.

The actor who has done several movies with the late Devgan including Hum Paanch, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja and Mr India, recounted the Charlie Chaplin sequence in Mr India, saying that it became "magical" because of Veeru Devgan, Sridevi and cinematographer Baba Azmi. The actor credited him as being better than VFX and told the newspaper, "In those days, there was no VFX; just hard-core, live action on camera as imagined by Veeru ji. He had his own innovations and they were far ahead of VFX."

Kapoor credited the late action director for Ajay Devgn's technical know-how, saying that the legacy has been passed down to him by his father.

Rakesh Roshan too spoke of his adoration for the late Devgan. Having worked in films like Khoon Bhari Maang, King Uncle, and Karan Arjun, the senior Roshan recalled that as a fighter Veeru was his stunt double. Calling him a fine technician, Roshan said they were best of friends.

Bollywood baddie Shakti Kapoor too remembered Veeru Devgan fondly, saying that when it came to fight masters, "Veeru paaji was the only superstar in India." Likening him to Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar, Shakti Kapoor revealed that people would stand in long queues to get his photograph or watch him execute a stunt.

Shakti remembered Devgan as the highest paid (fight director) of his times who would be given a business class ticket, and would stay in big suites in Chennai and Hyderabad. He recalled Devgan as a family man who loved his son Ajay a lot and someone who made "the best sookha mutton."

As for Anil Kapoor, he revealed that the funeral allowed him to connect with all the young fighters whom he had brought into the industry, enabling them to earn a livelihood in the city of dreams.

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