Biopics roaring all the way to the bank

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Biopics seem to be the new way to hit the jackpot. While Bollywood filmmakers are making biopics on sports stars one after the other, directors in southern India are going the spiritual way. Hollywood is also recreating the lives of important personalities who have been in the public eye. Globally, filmmakers appear to be on a biopic making spree and the audiences seem to be lapping them up.

"Bhaag Milka Bhaag", a tribute to ace athelete Milkha Singh, has been declared a superhit by many, including trade analyst Taran Adarsh. "Paan Singh Tomar", "The Dirty Picture", "Bandit Queen" and "Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero" are some of the films based on the lives respectively of an ace athelete-turned-dacoit, an erotic actress, a dacoit and a freedom fighter, that were highly appreciated.

Rudrarup Dutta, Head of Marketing and Operations Viacom18, says that while recreating the life of an individual, filmmakers should not miss out on the entertainment element.

"The film should be entertaining and relevant. 'Bhaag...' is set in the 1950s and 60s, but has contemporary music. We didn't want it to be preachy," Dutta told IANS.

In addition to the Farhan Akhtar starrer, Viacom18 is ready to unfold story of boxing Olympic medallist M.C. Mary Kom.

"We are not chasing biopics, but yes we are open to it if the script is entertaining and true in spirit. Right now we are excited about the biopic on Mary Kom. Priyanka (Chopra) has put in a lot of effort," he said.

Irrespective of duration of the film, its pace should be correct. "Length doesn't matter as long as it keeps the audience involved," he added.

Director Rohit Jugraj is also set to reveal the life story of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh on the big screen.

While Bollywood is smitten by the country's sport stars, down south filmmakers are dedicating their work to spiritual figures.

J.K Bharavi, director of Telegu biographical-devotional "Sri Jagadguru Aadi Sankara", has also penned stories for biopics like "Annamayya" and "Sri Ramadasu".

"The Telugu industry has been following a trend of spiritual biopics, and the reason we see more of it here is because it has been tested and proved over the years. Moreover, audiences here connect very well with subjects with a touch of spiritualism. They feel privileged and blessed to watch such biopics," said Bharavi.

While "Annamayya" was a tribute to poet-singer Annamayya, who devoted his life to the service of Lord Balaji, "Sri Ramadasu" was the story of Lord Rama's devotee Ramadasu.

Bengali filmmaker Raj Chakraborty's film "Proloy", dedicated to West Bengal's slain anti-rape crusader Barun Biswas, is set for an August release. It will recreate Biswas' crusade against attacks on women.

Hollywood is also working on a string of biopics. Actor Ashton Kutcher is set to play late tech wizard Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic "JOBS".

"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom", the biopic on anti-apartheid icon and ailing former South African president Nelson Mandela, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.

While Bollywood had a hit film on the life of erotic actress Silk Smitha, Hollywood recently made "Lovelace" based on the life of porn star Linda Lovelace.

As much as filmmakers are keen on making films based on inspirational people, actors are also eager to appear in such movies.

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh recently said that he is looking forward to doing a biopic. He thinks it would be very exciting to transform into a person who has lived a full life.

Farhan Akhtar, who essayed the role of Milkha Singh in "Bhaag...", finds such films inspirational and hopes filmmakers make many more.

(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at natalia.n@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

On Now: Bangalore vs Mumbai

Bangalore hold Mumbai back to a paltry 115 after electing to field. More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »