There have been a plethora of biopics on celebrities from all walks of life, including those from the film industry itself. However, now it seems that the industry is ready to look beyond themselves and a few biopics have also been proposed on veterans from fields other than showbiz.
Farhan Akhtar's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Omung Kumar's Mary Kom are recent examples of sports biopics that were received rather well by the audiences not only in the country but globally as well.
But, it's rare when the filmmaker dares to make another biopic after having given a successful hit like Mary Kom and this time on an Indian national convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court. Omung Kumar is all set to make a biographical film on Punjabborn Sarabjit Singh.
The film, which will be produced by writer-actor-turned-producer Zeishan Quadri, will go on floors in
Quadri believes writer Rajesh Beri’s narrative gave an edge to the film’s script. “For someone who remained true to the purpose of writing the script of such a film and the hurdles he faced before the project actually came to Omung Kumar, it deserves to be made with an equal amount of panache,” said the producer adding that the certain changes might be made in the script depending on how Kumar wished to interpret it.
“However, no one can play with the facts in a biopic,” he added.
Biopic on Sarabjit an emotional Journey, says Family
For Sarabjit’s sister, Dalbir Kaur, a biopic on her brother is a meaningful way to depict the true story in a mature manner. “It is a sensitive topic and I am hoping that not only people of my own country, but also everywhere else, will get to witness the other side of the coin through this film,” says Kaur who is looking forward to sharing substantiate details with the filmmaker who will be visiting her very soon.
She also revealed that she was grateful to writer Rajesh Beri, who has worked extensively on keeping the storyline true to reality and hasn’t fiddled with the facts. “He witnessed whatever we went through as a family when he stayed with us …even when it was when the news of an attack on Sarabjit in the jail reached us,” added Kaur who has immense faith in the research that is being done to make a film on an issue that garnered a lot of media attention.
But what concerns her most is the hope that the issue of the despicable treatment of Indian prisoners in the jails of Pakistan would reach a larger audience. At personal level, she wishes the film to highlight the greed among siblings for gaining hold over the family property after a loved one passes away. Talking of whom she thought would fit into her character the best, she said, “It doesn’t matter to me which actress plays my role, bas unki bhawnayein theek honi chahiye ki woh iss picture ke hissa kyun hain.”
For daughter Swapandeep, it is both a happy as well as an emotional moment. “In a way, I am glad the issue will be addressed and presented before a larger audience but it’s not going to be easy for us to relive those days although the pain never left us, in the first place,” said an emotional Swapandeep.
A Writer's Struggle
Beri, who stayed with Sarabjit’s family at his native village Bhikhiwind of Tarn Taran district in Punjab for two years. “It is the story of not just one man, but in fact many Sarabjits... many Indians who had to stay away from their families,” said Beri who even met the prisoners who were released at the Wagah border to keep the script completely authentic.
Not only that, Beri had to face a lot of hurdles as the project was passed on from one director to another. “I had almost given up hope till Subhash Ghai decided to make this film and Amitabh Bachchan was also asked to play Sarabjit’s role and this is when we received the news of Sarabjit’s death,” said the writer who after a brief mourning decided to rewrite the entire climax.