Not very long ago, a biopic on the Prime Minister on India, Narendra Modi, was announced with Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi stepping into his shoes. The first look of the film gave birth to ‘mixed’ hysteria on social media. While many appreciated Vivek’s efforts, his look was trolled aplenty. The controversy around the movie didn't stop at Vivek Oberoi's first look. In fact, it was only the start of many more to come. While the industry's veteran lyricists Javed Akhtar and Sameer Anjaan accused the makers of false-crediting, voices labelling the PM Narendra Modi biopic as a full-fledged propaganda film ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are getting louder. Now the latest is that the film has run into legal troubles. The makers have received legal notices by the Election Commission of India, accusing them of violating of Model Code of Conduct.
In an exclusive conversation with in.com, director Omung Kumar and producer Sandip Ssingh opened up about the biopic and the controversies surrounding it. A diplomatic and calm Omung Kumar chose to dodge the controversy bit, saying that he is concerned about the creative part instead. Sandip Ssingh, on the other hand, seemed to be fazed by the mess revolving around the film. He was adamant that the PM Narendra Modi biopic is not a politically influencing film but a story of one inspiring journey which should be told.
On being asked whether the biopic was indeed a propaganda vehicle, filmmaker Omung said, “I will leave the business part to Sandip and all the producers, I don’t think about that at all because for me, it’s an inspiring story and I want to say that and I always do that. For me, I have a track record that if it’s a story that I want to say, I will do it with my heart. So propaganda work ho raha hai, nahi ho raha hai, bahar kya chal raha hai… I am just editing my film and completing it the way I want. I don’t get scared or worried about such things, there are other people to get worried about it. And if I start getting bothered about that, my work will get hampered.”
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Jai Hind 🇮🇳🙏 We humbly ask for your prayers and blessings on this incredible journey. #AkhandBharat #PMNarendraModi
Let’s not forget the trolls that came along with Vivek Oberoi’s first look as PM Modi. Omung responded to them saying. “Kuch toh log kahenge. When I first announced that Priyanka Chopra will be playing Mary Kom on the big screen, I received a lot of flak and many questioned my decision. However, when the first poster was out, everyone got quiet and now Priyanka is Mary Kom, Mary Kom is Priyanka. Basically, Vivek is such a good actor and he has been underplayed… not utilised properly. He is a fantastic actor. The way he has portrayed PM Modi is excellent.”
Producer Sandip Ssingh, on the other hand, seemed to be quite affected. On being asked why a film on PM, Ssingh replied, “Why not? Why can’t we make a film on the Prime Minister of India? Why is everything labelled as propaganda? Why can’t people take it in another way? And it’s a story of a human being who went on from being a chaiwala to the Prime Minister of India. That is what I want to tell each and everybody through my biopic. This film is all about having a successful vision. In no way, it is a political film."
We also quizzed him on the propaganda part, which got the producer all worked up. “Every film has their respective dates and time. In today’s time, people are not bothered about making the film, they are more bothered about its release date. If people can eye on Eid, Diwali, Christmas and so on… why can’t I release my film at the right time? Why am I being questioned? Just because its election time, the film shouldn’t be released? RAW is releasing, which is also a patriotic film, Kesari did the same. So, why is my film being attacked? Filmmakers are the easiest target in this country. However, after the film releases, everyone shuts up because it doesn’t turn out the way they anticipated. Films like Padmaavat and My Name Is Khan are examples. If other parties like Manse, Congress and RPI are so confident about their work, why are they worried about a two-hour-film on a human being? They should once watch the film before calling for a ban or demanding it to be postponed. They should be confident about their work. And who am I or who is my film to help such a big party that has worked for so many years? Only the media is talking about such things and connecting it to propaganda. If that is the case then every party should stop campaigning and start making films on themselves. ”
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Dedicated to the spirit of our shaheed’s 🙏 Jai Hind 🇮🇳 🇮🇳 #SaugandhMujheIssMittiKi #PMNarendraModi
Responding to the accusations slapped by the Election Commission of India and whether they responded to the notice, Sandip said, “It’s everywhere. We did go since I am not here to break the law and make films. I have released films before and we have followed the protocol. Whatever the law will demand, we are fulfilling that. The Election Commission asked us to submit an answer, we have done the needful and now, we are waiting for their response. And I am sure that justice will be done and our film will release on April 5.”
The fact that the film was completed in 38 days and was ready with a release date, raised several eyebrows. “Absolutely. The trailer is proof and number of days don’t decide the content of the film, planning does. So, if the film is planned well, it can be released. The problem with our film industry is that our people are a little lazy. They don’t plan, they start shooting for the film and a lot of money is wasted,” said Ssingh.
We also quizzed the producer on My Name is RaGa (A film on Rahul Gandhi), to which he happily responded. “I eagerly wish to watch that film and I wish everyone associated with that film all the best. I am sure that this will be a good film and it will help Congress in the upcoming election campaigning.”