BIOPIC POSER: IS IT EASY IF THE SUB­JECT IS ALIVE?

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - Hindustan Times (Jaipur) - City - - Front Page - Shreya Mukher­jee Prashant Singh

Bollywood is rid­ing the biopic wave. Sev­eral of these films (re­leased; on the floors; planned) are about peo­ple who’re still alive — ac­tor San­jay Dutt; gang­ster-turned-politi­cian Arun Gawli; ace shut­tlers Saina Ne­hwal and PV Sindhu. It makes one won­der what the challenges are when the sub­ject of the biopic is among us, giv­ing view­ers a clear point of ref­er­ence and, per­haps, putting more pres­sure on the film­mak­ers. “The level of re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards ful­fill­ing the com­mit­ment of stay­ing close to proper facts be­comes high,” says Ar­jun Ram­pal, who played Gawli in the re­cently re­leased biopic, Daddy. “[The facts and char­ac­ter traits are] some­thing that one has to re­search well, and try to get as close [to] as pos­si­ble. But at the same time, one needs to make it en­ter­tain­ing, be­cause it’s a film. Main­tain­ing this bal­ance is a chal­lenge for film­mak­ers and the ac­tor.” Gawli is in jail, so Ar­jun only met him a few times, and had to use those meet­ings to un­der­stand his char­ac­ter. Anand Ku­mar, the math­e­ma­ti­cian fa­mous for his work in the in­no­va­tive ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme Su­per 30, is hav­ing a biopic be­ing made on him by Vikas Bahl. He says, “Get­ting man­ner­isms and ex­pres­sions right is very

Of late, not just cricket, but foot­ball has also been a hugely pop­u­lar sport among Bollywood celebs. That’s why a number of them, in­clud­ing ac­tors Ran­bir Kapoor and Ab­hishek Bachchan, are ac­tively in­volved in the game. Now, we’ve ex­clu­sively learnt that ac­tor Ar­jun Kapoor has be­come the co-owner of Pune-based foot­ball club, FC Pune City. “I’ve been a fan of the sport for the long­est time,” says Ar­jun. “Af­ter cricket, if there’s a sport that I’ve fallen in love with, it’s foot­ball. While grow­ing up, I used to fol­low foot­ball on TV and In­ter­net, so I’ve al­ways been a big foot­ball fa­natic. We must pro­duce at least one in­ter­na­tional qual­ity foot­baller in the next decade,” adds the im­por­tant, so that [the ac­tor] be­comes the mir­ror im­age of the [real-life per­son]. That’s why Vikas Bahl is con­stantly in touch with me.” Film­maker Anurag Basu, who’s mak­ing a biopic on mu­sic le­gend Kishore Ku­mar, with Ran­bir Kapoor play­ing the singer, be­lieves that it’s eas­ier if the sub­ject is alive. He points out, “For the biopic, I’m de­pen­dent on in­ter­views of peo­ple who knew him. ac­tor, who’s known as a fan of Chelsea FC of Eng­land. Does it help in tak­ing the sport to the grass­roots level when a celebrity gets in­volved? “Yes, I agree, but I think this has changed in the past two-three years. I have no­ticed that there’s a gen­eral aware­ness about [var­i­ous] sports. Kabaddi has also be­come so big,” says the ac­tor. “[But] I also feel that if you chan­nel all the en­er­gies through one per­son, it’ll help in in­cul­cat­ing the mind­set of sup­port­ing a team.” The ac­tor be­lieves that “sports are great teach­ers”. He says, “Any­body who is a sports­man has dis­ci­pline. They also have a cer­tain sense of pro­fes­sion­al­ism and a pos­i­tive mind­set. If you play a sport from a young age that habit be­comes in­cul­cated.” No­body is sure why [Kishore Ku­mar] did some­thing and in a cer­tain way. Such in­puts [had he been alive] would have added to the film.” A lit­tle liberty makes a plot more in­ter­est­ing, if there’s also re­spect for the sub­ject, feels R Balki, who’s di­rect­ing a film on so­cial en­tre­pre­neur Arunacha­lam Mu­ru­ganan­tham. He adds with a smile, “Arunacha­lam not only liked what he saw, but while watch­ing a few por­tions [of the film], he said he wished he lived them in real life.”

PHOTO:PRAMOD THAKUR/HT

PHOTO:IN­STA­GRAM/SHRADDHAKAPOOR

Badminton ace Saina Ne­hwal’s char­ac­ter is be­ing played by ac­tor Shraddha Kapoor (right) Ran­veer Singh has been cast as cricket le­gend Kapil Dev (above) in the film be­ing made on Team In­dia’s World Cup win in 1983

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