“Somebody had to tell his story, so I took up the challenge,” says director Omung Kumar of blockbuster Mary Kom fame that starred Priyanka Chopra in the title role.
Omung was sure that he won’t touch a biopic again but Sarabjit’s death in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail drove him to bring the Indian prisoner’s, who was a simple farmer from Punjab, life on the silver screen.
“Through this film I will try and portray a true account of Sarabjit’s life and suffering but I would like to clarify I have got all the details of his life from his immediate family. I assure you that before I release the film in 2016, I will carry out more ground work and collect other truths related to his story,” says Kumar, who was in Amritsar for a recce and also met Sarabjit’s family and friends in Bhikiwind (a town located along the India-Pakistan border in Tarn Taran district). The director will start shooting for the film in December 2015.
Director Omung Kumar along with creative director and producer Sandeep Singh, Vanita Kumar and creative producer Akshay visited the Wagah border, Sarabjit’s village and the area where Sarabjit crossed the border. The team is also planning to shoot in the same location and other areas in Punjab. Kumar says the major shoot will happen in Patiala and Amritsar and a few scenes will be shot in other border areas.
The director further said, “I had a detailed meeting and conversation with Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur and his mother before I finalised my script. To make a biopic, it is important to understand the background the subject and the situation she/he was in.”
“The aim is to show the audience the suffering of a simple man who was a farmer in Punjab and the trauma he underwent during his years of imprisonment,” said Omung.
It is tough to say if the biopic will show Sarabjit as an Indian spy or prove that his being a spy was a story that was merely a sensational media creation.
Omung says, “I want the audience to go to the theatre and decide for themselves. I won’t comment on this. But yes, Sarabjit’s case was overhyped by the media.”
Randeep Hooda is all set to play Sarabjit’s role in the movie while his sister Dalbir Kaur’s role will be played by Aishwarya Rai, who made her return to the big screen with Sanjay Gupta’s ‘Jazbaa’.