Home Hyderabad Column Nitpicking over biopics

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As a city, we have made a tremendous contribution to the nation – while both good and bad, largely more good than bad. Yet I must bemoan the lack of an adequate number of biopics that garnered national and regional attention.

Azhar was the last biopic on a prominent Hyderabadi, inspired by and ‘partly fixed’ plot, of the charismatic and styish former cricketer, Azzu bhai. While we understand making a movie on Dhoni, and another on Sachin, why has VVS Laxman missed out so far, I do not know.

Sunil Bohra acquired film rights of our own Hyderabadi Sanjaya Baru’s book, The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh, but alas, while Bollywood thinks MMS is worthy of a movie, no one has come forward to create a biopic on the legendary PV Narasimha Rao.

Even Tollywood, which makes the most number of movies each year, and felt that factionists and murderers need to be spoken about, has missed out a project on VVS or PV, both of whom, in different ways, more than deserve being the subject of at least a Telugu film.

There have been almost no movies on the Nizams of Hyderabad, who are not seriously researched. Nor of any great icons of Telangana culture or movement. Yes, a few great poets had their share of glory in Telugu films – Kavi Srinadha, Bhakta Ramdas. We were lucky to also watch a film or two on freedom fighter Alluri Seetarama Raju; but why did the recent biopic craze miss out on our heroes, I don’t know.

I can’t totally blame Bollywood if our own Telugu film industry has not done a film on these legends. But charity in these cases does not begin at home. Heck, the Tollywood industry has never even done a film to honour its greatest legends like NTR or ANR; although I partly understand that we can’t boast of an actor who can pull off those great icons on screen. The only on-screen NTR I recall was Shatrughan Sinha as a small side role in a movie dedicated to faction violence. I have enough reasons to crib, right? At least, our chief minister KCR is lined up to be featured as a protagonist in a movie soon, though none of the former chief ministers have merited the glory – not Chandrababu Naidu, not even the late YSR.

After Dhirubhai Ambani’s life was portrayed in a film, Guru, I thought our businessmen would be subjects, but it never happened. Not for the film industry movies on the entrepreneurs who created companies like GVK, GMR, DRL, or even Satyam. At least, after his glory at the All-Englands, and then as a coach with Saina Nehwal, and P V Sindhu now, our super-guru P Gopichand would qualify for attention. While I did hear about a proposal on a movie based on his life, I am not sure it is taking off anytime soon.

TAILPIECE: My big bet is on Sania Mirza as the next possible Hindi biopic. Maybe it will be PV; and maybe Dr Baru would not mind scripting it.

But whatever, we deserve more as far as biopics go.

(Sriram Karri is author of the bestselling novel, Autobiography of a Mad Nation. He writes for international media such as The New York Times and BBC besides organising debates at Hyderabad Park).

– Sriram Karri

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