Rani Mukerji has been in the news ever since her look from Mardaani 2 has been released. The actress plays the role of a cop in the Yash Raj Films production venture. In the time and age where Bollywood filmmakers want their heroes as cops – Ranveer Singh in Simmba, Akshay Kumar in Sooryavanshi – there are two Bollywood actresses whose names have come up who are fit to play the role of lady cops in the upcoming Asaram Bapu Biopic. The biopic was recently announced by Tanu Weds Manu's producer, Sunil Bohra.
The producer announced that he has bought the rights of Ushinor Majumdar’s novel, God of Sin: The Cult, Clout and Downfall of Asaram Bapu. The book traces the journey of the self-styled godman’s rise as a spiritual guru and then his downfall after he was arrested in a sexual assault case in 2013. We spoke with the author of the book asking him who from Bollywood is apt to play Asaram Bapu.
He says, “More than Asaram Bapu, there are these two lady cops who should be focused upon, in the film. One is Shobha Bhutada, and then there is this female cop called Chanchal Mishra who actually arrested Asaram. I think Anushka Sharma and Alia Bhatt can do justice to the role where they have to play strong police officers.”
He further adds, "While Asaram Bapu is important, his story now rivers around three women—the minor who complained, Rajasthan police officer Chanchal Mishra who arrested the godman and investigated the complaint and Gujarat IPS Shobha Bhutada who busted open their financial crime. " " I am not a casting expert but perhaps women who’ve played powerful roles can blend into these characters. It could be women such as Alia Bhatt or Anushka Sharma, some powerful women actors can only do justice to these roles. Since the announcement, I’ve read many suggestions on social media such as Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. Personally, I don’t know if he will really fit in but Nawazuddin is the most versatile actor in Bollywood as is Shah, " he adds.
Talking about his book. He said, "What you’ve read in newspapers could scratch the surface, the book has gone far beyond that. It’s the first book in India to look at every aspect of a godman, his cult and his power. There is, of course, plenty of drama from the high-profile arrest and the investigations. It is not easy to make such a film—I’ve been threatened and sued but thankfully the court did not stay it. Looking at Sunil Bohra’s credentials, I think he will get together a team which can do it justice and he is convinced he can withstand the pressure."
Ask Ushinor what the audience can look forward to in the film and he is quick to add, “In my book, there are really interesting chapters which I feel would look good on screen. The one to look forward to should be how the police investigated Asaram’s case and the other one where he is getting arrested.”
In this day and age where Bollywood filmmakers are busy doing biopics, this one seems to be a promising project.