NEW DELHI: The makers of "PM Narendra Modi" received a lot of flak for planning to release the movie on April 12, a day after the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections. But the date was changed to April 5.
The film's director Omung Kumar B said the call was taken by the team. They felt it was the right time to release it as the biopic is not a propaganda film, he said. The film's first poster, featuring actor Vivek Anand Oberoi as Modi, was unveiled in January. Omung and his team travelled to Gujarat to finalise the locations and start the shoot. Now, it's almost ready. "It's probably the fastest movie being made and released. It's exciting to do something like this because the scale is so huge," Omung told IANS in an interview over the telephone from Mumbai where he is racing against time to complete the movie.
According to reports, the Goa unit of the National Students' Union of India, the student wing of the Congress, has urged the Election Commission to ban the film's screening during the 'election silence' period.
Asked if this made them change the film's release date, Omung said, "No, it's got nothing to do with that. We wanted to do it on April 5 first. Later, we changed it to April 12. Then we thought that it should be released on April 5 only."
On being termed a propaganda film, the director said, "It's not a propaganda film. Because it's coming out at this point of time, people are talking like that. People release their films on Diwali or Eid. I am releasing my film during this time (election time) because it's right time for me."
Why not after elections? "Why should I? The film is ready. Had it not been ready, it would have been a different story," said the National Award winner. "PM Narendra Modi" will narrate the story of Modi from his humble beginnings to the top executive post of the land. Stating that he has no intentions to influence voters through the film, the director said he wanted the audience to get inspired by his story. "Who would have thought that a 'chaiwala' would become a PM someday? That's inspiring," said the "Mary Kom" director.
On his decision to helm the project, he said: "Sandip Ssingh (producer) had the idea. While I was judging the show 'India's Best Dramebaaz' with Vivek, we put things together and the movie happened." The film is produced by Ssingh, Suresh Oberoi and Anand Pandit. When Vivek's looks as Modi were unveiled, netizens came up with hilarious memes.
Referring to his 2014 film "Mary Kom" in which Priyanka Chopra played the legendary Manipuri boxer, he said: "When 'Mary Kom' was announced, I got so much flak for it. People asked me 'How can Priyanka look like Mary Kom?' I said 'Wait for the poster, you will know'. It came out and Priyanka became Mary Kom. "It will be the same in this (Vivek's) case too. People might think Paresh Rawal or someone else should have essayed the role. I think I can transform anyone to become someone. Also, I believe in him (Vivek). He is a good actor. I am trying to show 60 years of someone's life. And thus the different looks," Omung said.