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Bhaichung Bhutia doesn’t want a ‘masala’ biopic

Former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia speaks about his upcoming biopic, politics, and, of course, football.

football Updated: Jun 11, 2019 11:51 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Chak De! India,Anand Kumar,Bhaichung Bhutia
The Padma Shri awardee is kicked about the idea of documenting real life stories, but doesn’t like when such films have too much drama.(Instagram/bhaichung15)

Bhaichung Bhutia used to be India’s most formidable football sniper and is now a politician who wants to work for his home state, Sikkim. Little wonder, that director Anand Kumar plans a biopic on Bhutia’s inspiring story.

Although actor Tiger Shroff has denied being approached for it, Bhutia says he would love to see the actor portray him on screen. “I have met Tiger [not for the film but otherwise]. I have not seen him [play], but he plays good football. And that’s important to me. He looks fit, and is one of the fittest actors,” he says.

‘Keep it real’

The Padma Shri awardee is kicked about the idea of documenting real life stories, but doesn’t like that such films have too much ‘masala’. “It shouldn’t be too much drama. Like Chak De! India (2007)... Though I guess it sells. Compared to a lot of movies you watch right now, biopics are much better. People like reality and connect with it. It’s real, but only if you can keep it real...,” says Bhutia, who is a role model for young football aspirants across the country.

“My only thing is [it should be] as original as possible. I have not gone through so many things [that], for example, Milkha Singh has. Happy and inspiring is the kind of movie I am looking at,” adds Bhutia, who is also involved in the writing of the film.

‘Celebs make clean politicians’

Bhutia formed the Hamro Sikkim Party in April last year and contested two seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections. While he lost, he says, “I want to build it further. Hamro Sikkim was started by a few of us friends and that’s our baby. This is home, in Sikkim.”

Bhutia had joined the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) and contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Darjeeling and the 2016 assembly poll from Siliguri in West Bengal. “It’s important for celebrities to come [into politics] because they are putting their credibility at stake, and their brand as well. Corruption is one of the biggest issues in India. At least you’ll get a clean politician [with a celebrity],” the footballer-turned-politician says.

‘I am getting old, now I have specs’

The footballer, who has been a fashion icon and sports many tattoos, says, “Footballers are known to be fashion icons... especially hairstyles [become famous]. People around the world follow them. We had players like David Beckham and Roberto Baggio, who are one of the top fashion icons across the globe.” Any new tattoos? “When you’re young, you do all that. I am getting old, now I have specs,” he laughs.

‘Need for a sports culture’

Ask him if India can qualify for the football World Cup any time soon and he says, “I wish I had the answer. We need to keep working, create a culture of sports, or in my case football. I am sure it will have more kids playing. More talent will be spotted,” he adds.

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First Published: Jun 11, 2019 11:41 IST