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'Sonia film faces no hurdles'

Mundhra hopes to pull off his proposed biopic without any roadblocks, writes Saibal Chatterjee.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 11:19 IST

Jag Mundhra is confident that he will be able to pull off his proposed Sonia Gandhi biopic without having to encounter too many roadblocks on the way.

His latest film, Provoked, which has won admirers following Cannes Film Market screenings and is scheduled to premiere at the upcoming IIFA in Dubai, is all set for release, but the interest of the media is focussed primarily on what lies ahead.

Mundhra has been in touch with several of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s close advisors and none of them, the filmmaker asserts, has any serious reservations about the film project. “The script is after all based on the book authored by Rashid Kidwai. The book has been in circulation for four year and there have been no objections to its contents,” says the director.

The only specific doubt that has been raised about Mundhra’s venture pertains to the making of a film on a living person. “I’ve been asked: are films like these made on people who are alive? I have cited the examples of the films on Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali and Erin Brockovich to support my case,” says Mundhra.

The Congress personages that Mundhra has spoken to are Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, party spokesperson S Jaipal Reddy, Ahmed Patel and Rajiv Shukla, among others. “None of them has a problem with the project,” he says.

Mundhra says he isn’t really interested in the political aspect of Sonia Gandhi’s life. “The story of her journey from a nondescript place in Italy to Cambridge to the portals of power in one of the world’s most populous nations is fascinating enough,” he says. “My focus will, therefore, be on the love story that transformed Sonia’s life forever.”

“Sonia’s story is unlike any other that one can draw from real life,” says the veteran filmmaker. “It has unbelievable drama. The hand of destiny is always at play.”

Mundhra’s film will begin with the love story that blossomed in Cambridge and end with Sonia Gandhi relinquishing the post of Prime Minister. “The script will highlight many of the little details of their early meetings in Cambridge. In fact, the love story by itself has enough meat to yield an entire feature film,” says Mundhra.

“The love of a man brought Sonia to India. The love of a nation inspired her to stay on. That is what will form the crux of my film,” says Mundhra. The filmmaker, who moved from Los Angeles to London a couple of years ago, is now all set to shift permanently to Mumbai. “The office space will be ready before the end of the year,” he says. Bollywood will hear more of Jag Mundhra in the years ahead.