5 Living Indians Who Deserve A Film On Their Lives

We have previously talked about biopics, about how we do not need to look at other shores for inspiration when our history is full of people with rich and interesting lives. However, it is not just the past that offers us tales, movies on living persons have been in fact regularly made in the west, (The Social Network, Ali, W, Pirates of the Silicon Valley) but in India making a film on someone who is still alive (or in Chacha Nehru's case, someone whose political legacy is huge) is a tricky issue. Yet, we believe that films made on 5 such people (for a start) would translate into good watchable cinema. Here's the list in no particular order

5. G R Khairnar

If you are not aware of who he is, then his photograph would make you think that his moniker 'The Demolition Man' doesn't suit him. And that is why it is very important for you to know who he is, and his contribution to modern India.

He is a Crime-Fighter who took on corruption almost single-handedly without needing to either fire or even wield a gun. Starting off as a clerk in the BMC he moved on to become a ward officer, and there he found gross irregularities in a few constructions in Mumbai. Not one to pass on this as 'Chalta Hai, Kuchh Nahi Ho Sakta' he proceeded to demolish the illegal building, which incidentally belonged to the son of the then chief minister of the state. He was promoted (by a rare show of Good sense by the Government) to the post of Deputy Commissioner. And this gave him more freedom to tackle corruption as well as the Mafia.

In a city that was at that time said to be literally run by Mr D, this great man did not shy away from taking a hammer at the D companies' buildings, while actively confronting Sharad Pawar. In a bid to protect itself (and perhaps on a diktat by Mr D) the government suspended him on charges of insubordination in 1994, but because of his indefatigable spirit he challenged his suspension, which our smooth and efficient legal system took only 6 years to overturn. In this period he penned his autobiography (thus providing a good source material for a possible film) and joined various social movements.

Once his post and full honour were given back to him in 2000, he went back to what he did best, the demolition of illegal buildings.

'You don't mess with The Demolition Man'
The Actor Best Suited to Play Him

and while we are on the subject of Mumbai Mafia and Corruption

4 Rakesh Maria

Also known as Super Cop
There's a Police Officer called Ajay Lal in Suketu Mehta's non-fiction book 'Maximum City' who is a thinly veiled representation of Rakesh Maria, and the book offers a deep insight into the mind of one of India's most enigmatic Policemen, whose real life exploits make 'Dabang-esque' stunts seem childish.

There actually is a movie based on a part of his life, you see he was the main investigating officer who cracked the 1993 bomb-blast cases. But then, there is a lot more in this man's means and methods that can be explored in a movie.

He successfully solved the 1993 tragedy, and when the connection between politicians and the mafia started becoming apparent, he was shifted from his post. He did not let this transfer get him down, and when terrorists struck mumbai again in 2003, he was brought back to take charge. He brought the criminals to justice.

It is not just the high profile incidents that he has handled, it is in particular his way of interrogation that makes him who he is. He seldom resorts to physical violence to torture, but what he does is equally dangerous and perhaps more effective. He goes inside the mind of the criminal and breaks down their defenses, even if it means using methods that go beyond normal.

He prides himself in not being corrupt, although off late he has been embroiled in a controversy that questions his patriotism, only the future can tell whether he is as clean as he is effective, but one thing is for sure, he is a hero that the country needs.

The Actor Best Suited to Play Him

All he needs is to continue where he left off in Black Friday
Moving on from crime, let us take a look at a Hero who plays a Sport which's state in India has always been quite mercurial (and we are not talking about cricket here)

3. Dhanraj Pillai

The story of any hero can be simply said to have three parts - The Rise, The Tragedy and The Redemption.

Dhanraj Pillai, perhaps one of the biggest names in our country attached to his sport, has seen in some measure, all three parts.

He was part of the Indian hockey team for a span of a decade and a half, and he played during a time when the national team was finding it hard to match a time when India was the best in the world. Mixed with the apathy of the administration (headed by the strange Mr KPS) and lack of facilities (the delay in the introduction of astro-turf in India) no player could have been in a worse time to represent his country.

And yet, Dhanraj played the best he could. He led India to two famous cup victories (Asian Games 1998 and Asia Cup 2003) and many near-misses. He was rewarded for the Asia Cup victory with a 'rest' from his side. He had numerous run-ins with the strange hockey academy and bad coaches, which proved unfavourable for him during various times in his career.

The biggest tragedy for this hero came in his final olympic match where after an already dismal performance by the team, he was put on the field for only 5 minutes.

But then, redemption is still in store for Dhanraj (with the forthcoming olympics) as he is the manager of the national team, and he is also a member of the IHF, a committee formed after the long overdue removal of Mr KPS.

Plus, he looks cooler
The Actor Best Suited to Play Him

2. Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal ji might not be a Hero, and it would be a stretch to call him the best PM our doomed country has ever had, but he is a good man, and he was the last Statesman in Indian politics. He was at times called many things, a man surrounded by evil folk, even a mask, but his staunchest rivals too desisted from attacking him personally.

And he is a self proclaimed film-buff, he would be amused at the idea of a movie being made on his life. There are many elements of his life that made for a great story, he followed in the steps of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay, and was a major figure of the opposition when it was impossible to even think of opposing the Congress.

He was jailed during the emergency, and post it, he heeded the call of JP and merged his party with the Janta Party. Although the Morarji Desai government didn't survive, Atal ji made his mark as the foreign minister. 

When he became the Prime minister for the first and second time, it was marked by hard drama, backstabbing by allies, strangle politik and uncertainity. However, when he finally came to power in 1999, the five years that followed (although marred by various bleak spots) were a period of economic growth and reforms, something the next ten years of Congress have not been able to match.

Atal ji was also a man of quick wit and humour, he was an excellent orator, in contrast to our mild and silent current Puppet Minister.

He may or may not have been the right man in the wrong place, but this poet-politician was the last tie that held together the BJP, a party that has gone in self-destruct mode ever since he has retired from active politics. For better or worse, he deserves to be immortalized on film reel.

The Actor Best Suited to Play Him

1. Gulzar

His contribution to Indian cinema, art, literature has been immense. A writer/director with an immaculate eye for detail, he may not have made the highest grossing movies of all time, but he has made films that are in the true sense of the word different (and of course he fostered a certain Vishal Bharadwaj)

Plus, there are his lyrics. Strange, beautiful, weird, memorable. Even today, almost five decades after his entry into cinema he can write masterful lines using extremely simple words (Dil to bachcha hai ji, Meri aarzoo kaminee, Darrrling). But it's not his present that I am talking about. It is his past, and how he has enriched our lives, that makes for a story to be put up their on screen.

He adapted famous works of literature for the Indian film industry, made films that were about human relationships as well as about politics and the plight of the common man caught in the cross-fire of violence, and later with the advent of television he did his part in preserving the legacy of Mirza Ghalib.

And he had a love story with Rakhee, which is also a tale of unrequited love.

Gulzar sa'ab is still pretty much active in films, writing songs the way only he can, twisting words, metaphors, feelings and yet making all his lyrics memorable. 

The Actor Best Suited to Play Him


{ Nitesh.B.Rai } at: June 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM said...

kickass.....dhanush was bang on and ashok saraf for vajappeeye.
keep up the good wrk

{ Unknown } at: June 23, 2012 at 9:39 PM said...

bhayankar pablo!!
aag hai ye wala

{ Sanket Kumar } at: June 23, 2012 at 10:17 PM said...

innovative...nyc BTW.

{ Unknown } at: June 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM said...

Dont know much about his work as anti corruption crusader but his opinion on Anna movement spoke volumes for Khairnar.There was not a single among his numerous public appearances on news channels that he did not try to get personal and use choicest expletives for Anna Hazare.Disagreeing is one thing but targeting someone by stooping to such level,that too without any proof or evidence, that the anchor has to request you to watch your words repeatedly is completely different and unacceptable.Maybe he was craving for media attention but surely the idea for a movie on such a person can only be described as BS.

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