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Abhinav Bindra biopic is a challenge to the film's writers


Published on: February 16, 2020 | Updated on: February 16, 2020

Harshvardhan Kapoor and Abhinav Bindra. (Twitter)

Mumbai: The uninteresting thing about the biopic they’re making on medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra is that father-son duo Harshvardhan Kapoor and Anil Kapoor are playing the major roles, the son as the son and the father as the father. It’s Bollywood, guys, the suspense is never in the casting. Dynasty rules, OK?

So the interesting thing about the Abhinav Bindra biopic would be how Bollywood would make it interesting to audiences. How exciting is it to watch someone shoot at a set of concentric rings 10 m away?

The Beginning, which ironically has been delayed for almost three years, is based on Bindra’s autobio History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold and Beyond, cowr-tten by the sports journalist Rohit Brijnath. We know nothing about the kind of creative licence the film-makers will take with Bindra’s story.

It’s going to be a challenge for the scriptwriter to tell a gripping story in which all the drama happens indoors, and in the mind of the protagonist.

From Bindra’s bio, here are the most exciting things the film writers have to draw from:

·       Abhinav Bindra came seventh in the Athens Olympics in 2004. He thought that was a failure.

·       He once shot 100 out of 100 in practice six times in a row and yet walked out of the shooting range unhappy.

·       The soles of his shoes were made of rubber from Ferrari tyres. He thought it would help.

·       He began by shooting beer bottles in his garden in Chandigarh. He had a garden.

·       His father built a shooting range at their home for Abhivav to practice.

·       He’d practice at 3 am.

·       He mapped his own brain, drank yak milk and climbed rock walls, all in obsessive pursuit of the gold, which he won at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

·       He had no conflicts with his coach, fellow shooters or his significant others. His conflicts were inner.

·       Once, in a fit of rage, he threw down the showcase containing his seventh place certificate at Athens.

·       After he won the gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he went into mild depression, as he says in the preface to the book: "The gold medal in his pocket, he was enveloped in an emptiness."

Now all of these can make for compelling drama. But it needs a skilled writer and a very intuitive cast to bring it home to us.

As the preface to Bindra’s book says, "Shooting, like chess, is an internal sport, the movements minor, yet it is a sport of fine nuance, of subtlety, requiring a certain imagining to appreciate it. These men rage, too, they just cannot show it."

As lead star Harshvardhan Kapoor tweeted, "I am stoked to have been chosen to play #AbhinavBindra and hopefully will do justice to the man, the legend! Like the man himself said, 'Hard Work is a talent.' #LetsDoThis."

"Beginnings are very special. Especially when you get to play a character that has made the nation proud on the world stage."