Badhaai Ho director Amit Sharma announced on Twitter on Thursday that his next film will focus on the golden years of Indian football between 1951 and 1962. The film will star actor Ajay Devgn and will be bankrolled by Akash Chawla’s Freshlime Films and Boney Kapoor, he added.
Sharma posted pictures with football greats Fortunato Franco and Tulsidas Balaram, whom he met as part of the preparation for the film. Franco and Balaram, considered among the greatest footballers India has produced, were part of the team that represented India at the Rome Olympics in 1960. Their team also won India a historic gold medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 1962.
Sharma is currently revelling in the success of Badhaai Ho, about a family that is forced to deal with the repercussions of an unplanned middle-aged pregnancy. The film stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta and Sanya Malhotra and had made at least Rs 108 crores.
A biopic on former India football captain Krishanu Dey is in the pipeline, his family confirmed Thursday.
Regarded as one of the most creative play-makers in the 1980s and 90s, Dey passed away in 2003 following prolonged illness, battling severe lung, kidney and liver infections.
A first for Indian football, the biopic will be a web series available on Zee5. It is being directed by Korok Murmu. There will be eight episodes in the first season, highlighting the rise of Dey, who donned national colours in various tournaments, including the 1986 Asiad, Merdeka, pre-Olympics and SAFF Games, and led India in the 1992 Asia Cup.
Dey, who had a long stint with city football giants East Bengal, was the darling of Kolkata’s football-crazy fans with his skills, silken touch and delicate through passes.
“It is a very proud moment for all of us. He never got any award despite being called the Indian Maradona. This is equivalent to an award,” Dey’s wife, Sharmila, said.
The web series is expected to release in August coinciding with the start of East Bengal’s centenary celebrations.
“They (producers) want to release the first episode in August when there will be a year to go for East Bengal’s centenary celebrations,” Dey’s son, Soham said.
Maharashtra-based actor Anurag Urha will play the role of Dey.
“He is training hard and honing his football skills to try and look like the way my father. They (director and producer) spoke to some of my father’s teammates to get a hang of how he was on the field and off it,” Soham said.
Beginning his career in the local league with the Police team, in 1979, Dey had a two-year stint with Port Trust before joining bigwigs Mohun Bagan in 1982.
A gifted a left-footed player, Dey first played for East Bengal in 1985 and from then on, in a period of seven years, won many accolades with the red and golds including a treble (Durand Cup, Rovers Cup, IFA Shield) in 1990.
In his twilight years, Dey played for his employer Food Corporation of India, which decided to field a team in the local league.
Dey formed a lethal combination in midfield with close friend Bikash Panji.
The pair caused terror in the opposition ranks whenever they played together, with rival defenders resorting to rough tackles to keep them in check resulting in Dey becoming injury prone.
The plot of the biopic will revolve around a German lady coming to India to research on Dey. Shooting is expected to start from next week. There are two seasons planned as of now.
“They approached us in December and work started from then on,” Soham added.
A recently released film traces the unfolding of the great, grungy, modern tragedy
When the title of Asif Kapadia’s recently released film comes on screen, there seems to be an invisible forward slash dividing Diego and Maradona. Indeed the whole film explores the schism between the angel and the devil residing in this one man, the indescribable talent and the street-thug’s ferality, the loving son and brother and the monstrous egotist, the supremely intelligent footballer and the unbelievably stupid celebrity. As he has done with Senna and Amy, (about Ayrton Senna, the racing car driver, and Amy Winehouse, the singer), for Diego Maradona,Kapadia has gathered an ocean of archive footage and delved deep into it, gathering both basic building blocks and gems with which to construct the story. In fact, in the 2 hour 10 minutes of the film, Kapadia has himself filmed perhaps one shot — a slow aerial sweep over night-time Naples — with everything else being archival footage, from grainy, early 1960s, black-and-white film of Villa Fiorito, a shantytown at the edge of Buenos Aires, where Maradona grew up (a place that very much resembles slums in Calcutta or Bombay), to home videos on to news footage of gangland murders in 1980s Naples. The growing ubiquitousness of the VHS video camera in the 1980s is what makes Kapadia’s film, because along with Maradona’s rising fame comes the deeper and deeper insertion of attention, both wanted and unwanted, licensed and unlicensed.
If anything, the football itself is but an abhushan of the film, the various moments from Maradona’s playing career adorn the film even as they help provide the impetus to the unfolding of a great, grungy, modern tragedy. The narrative isn’t linear. The film begins with raking the viewer with different aspects of the legendary career: Diego Armando Maradona playing, DAM driving to the massive Napoli stadium, DAM as a teenager (looking spookily like a young Sachin Tendulkar, or vice versa), receiving a trophy and so on. The concentration of the film is Maradona’s time at Napoli when he takes the near-relegation team to the top of the Italian League and plants it there. This time also spans the two World Cups where Maradona is at his best, 1986 and 1990. This is also the time of his many affairs, his dalliance with the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia, his growing ensnarement by cocaine and then the final rejection by the Italian and, more crucially, Neapolitan fans when his Argentina sends Italy out of the World Cup in the semi-final at Naples.
In the portrait of this messy, garish, sungun-lit circus of a life, Kapadia nevertheless displays a strict minimalism and narrative rigour. The period of DAM’s long fall from grace is not dwelt upon, we do not see him in the disastrous 1994 World Cup, we do not see him hobnobbing with Fidel Castro. At the end, we cut straight to recent times, to the hulking, hobbling, square shipwreck of a man in his late 50s, thinking back to what was, what could have been, and how he arrived where he is.
In that fleeting, crazy moment in the London pub in 1986, I could not have known that I was witnessing but one key moment of the epic that was unfolding, but I did realize I was watching something and someone special, a genius who would trouble the world in various ways before he was finally done.
The former India skipper was one of the best domestic players to have played for the club.
Former India national team captain, Late Krishanu Dey, is all set to have his story shown to the wider public, with a web series on his rise all set to premiere later this month. The former East Bengal legend’s TV series will be named “Krishanu Krishanu” and will be available from ZEE5 on August 29th.
Dey passed away in 2003 after long suffering from a pulmonary disorder and multi-organ failure at the tender age of 41, his reputation is still palpable among the football fans in Kolkata. He produced some majestic moments during the 80s while playing for both East Bengal as well as Mohun Bagan, with his expert work granting him the nickname, 'The Indian Maradona', courtesy of his fantastic work on the ball.
He also made 34 International appearances for the Blue Tigers, scoring 10 goals and being only the second Bengali after Subhash Bhowmick to score an international hat-trick. The web-series will be directed by Korok Murmu, while Dey will be portrayed by Marathi actor Anurag Urha. The first season will be composed of eight episodes which will highlight the rise of Dey into the darling of Kolkata football lovers.
The series is releasing in August for being in line with the club’s centenary year and Krishanu Dey's existing family is delighted at having his story being shown to a wider audience. When speaking about this decision, his son Soham told Millennium Post, “They (producers) want to release the first episode in August when there will be a year to go for East Bengal's centenary celebration.”
Talking about their feelings on the web-series, his wife Sharmila said, “It is a very proud moment for all of us. He never got any award despite being called the Indian Maradona. This is equivalent to an award.” Their family is also happy at who is portraying the legendary footballer and talking about Anurag’s preparations for the role, Soham said, “He is training hard and honing his football skills to try and look like the way my father"
"They (director and producer) spoke to some of my father's teammates to get a hang of how he was on the field and off it," he added.
Dey earned legendary status for his menacing work for the Red and Gold Brigade during the 1980s. He won many trophies during his seven-year stint with East Bengal, including the Durand Cup, Rovers Cup and the IFA Shield treble in 1990. The plot of his web-series will revolve around a German lady arriving in the country for research purposes on Dey. There are two seasons planned to take place as of now.