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