Kargil martyr Vikram Batra’s brother on his biopic: I hope Sidharth Malhotra does justice to Vikram
Actor Sidharth Malhotra is all set to play the role of Kargil martyr Vikram Batra in the latter’s biopic. Captain Batra sacrificed his life during the Kargil War (1999). His twin brother, Vishal Batra, hopes that his brother’s life on the celluloid is presented with the same vigour as the soldier led in real.
“I don’t have any fear about the film. Sidharth is an actor but the bravery shown by soldiers in a battle field is of different stature; so we hope he does justice to the role because a biopic doesn’t have a sequel or prequel. Being a young guy with a huge fan base, I know he would fit the role well and attract audience. The only apprehension and expectation is that he does justice to Vikram. This is the only time everyone will be able to see Vikram’s love for his country,” says Vishal, who is a top notch banker residing in Chandigarh. Captain Vikram, nicknamed Sher Shah, led one of the most difficult battles in the Kargil War, a battle that took place on the icy slopes at an altitude of 16,000 feet.
On why they particularly wanted Sidharth to play Vikram’s part, Vishal says, “We could have approached other actors but we couldn’t see anyone who could play 24-year-old Vikram well on the screen.”
Asked how co-producer of the film, Shabbir Boxwala approached his father in Palampur, Vishal shares, “When the producers heard of Vikram’s bravery, they thought there has never been a film on the bravery of a war veteran. They had already done a lot of research when they contacted my father in Palampur. My father had two dreams, one to have a book (Param Vir: Our Heroes in Battle) and to possibly have a film on him.”
Karan Johar and Shabbir, who are co-producing the film, have kept Vishal in the loop while making the film. “I was thoroughly involved. I took the [producers] to Leh, Kargil, Dras and The Indian Military Academy. I made them meet officers and Delta company, who were a part of the war. I let them meet all the people who know Vikram, so that they could hear more about him,” he says.
Revealing more about the film, Vishal says, “Sidharth is going to essay a double role of Vikram and I.”
Captain Vikram’s family understands that a Bollywood film has a commercial angle and thus his love life will also be shown as a part of the film. “Of course, he [Vikram] had a friend who never got married and we will focus on it. We will cover his childhood, academy days and love life for whatever short time he was present,” says Vishal, who is married with two kids.
The film is expected to go on floors in July and the release date is expected to be sometime early next year.
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