Filmmakers Meghna Gulzar and Amit Sharma, who are helming real-life stories "Chhapaak" and "Maidaan" respectively, say they aren't making biopics to follow any trend and feel chronicling known stories for big screen can sometimes be tougher than narrating the unknown ones.
"Maidaan" will chronicle the golden years of Indian football and features Ajay Devgn as the legendary football coach Syed Abdul Rahim. "Chhapaak'" is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agrawal, played by Deepika Padukone. When asked if making biopics is an easy way out and reflects mob mentality, Amit said, "We have a lot of stories in India which haven't been chronicled. I am doing a biopic right now, I actually loved this character, this man whom I am making this film on. I am not making a biopic just because there's a trend of biopics going on.
"If the story is good, you shouldn't stop yourself even if it it's a biopic and lots of them are being made. If you feel like it, if the story has merit and you want to tell people something, then you must." He was in conversation with film critics Anupama Chopra and Rajeev Masand at the Jio MAMI Movie Mela with Star 2019 alongwith Meghna, Sriram Raghavan, Konkona Sensharma, Amar Kaushik and Siddharth Anand.
Meghna said the term biopic is often used loosely. "Sometimes there's a story you want to tell and that story can be told only through one main character. But you may not follow that character's life chronologically, that the person was born, the childhood was of a certain kind, they the growing up happening with these aspirations, here's how the life went by and then they died. That's a biopic, technically.
"I may still want to tell a story with this person as the central protagonist and tell several other stories around it and not tell his story chronologically. Yet I will use that character to tell a narrative I want to do. Making a biopic isn't taking the easy way out. Sometimes telling a story that is already known is perhaps more difficult than telling an untold story," she added.
Sriram, who is also making a biopic on the life of youngest Param Vir Chakra recipient Arun Khetarpal, said he agrees with the views of the "Raazi" filmmaker. Meghna is also making biographical drama, "Sam", on 1971 War hero Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, headlined by Vicky Kaushal.