Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, biopics on leaders line up

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, biopics on leaders line up

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and actor Vivek Oberoi after the poster launch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's biopic in Mumbai on Jan 7, 2019. PTI

At a time when political parties are gearing up for the Lok Sabha polls — getting their cadre ready, crunching numbers and thinking about alliance dynamics to get potential voters to hail them in ballots — the film industry is a step ahead.

A still from the trailer of "The Accidental Prime Minister"

It has sensed the mood and is already geared up, readied its marketing strategy and is expecting a good turnout of not voters but the audience, and even more the proportionate amount of currency from them.

The election hub-bub adds to the excitement for entertainment and might we say a "good timing" by the film industry, which seems to capitalise on it.
So, what's in store? an array of biopics on political leaders.

Also, what's interesting is that the biopics of most of these leaders come before the general elections or Assembly elections to states to which these leaders have clout in.

A still from the trailer of "Thackeray"

Latest to make news is a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Vivek Oberoi donning the role of the former Gujarat chief minister. The poster of the film was released by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (BJP) on January 7.

'The accidental prime minister,' a film based on political analyst Sanjaya Baru's book is already a buzz on social media.

The trailer of the movie, which was released on December 27, has already garnered over 6.5-crore views as of Wednesday — imagine the ad revenue just from there.

The movie, which is slated for release on January 11, speaks about the journey of former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh during the UPA I and II periods.

Stills from YSR and NTR biopics

Incidentally, Baru's book was released during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections — on April 20, 2014.

Another movie in line is based on the founder of Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray, titled 'Thackeray'— the trailer of which has over two crore views. Maharashtra goes to polls after the elections to the Lower House.

While 'The Accidental Prime Minister' became the centre of a political slugfest, 'Thackeray' saw actor Siddharth questioning it: "Are you planning to make money out of this propaganda?"

Moving South, the year is all set for the biopics of two chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh — N T Ramarao (N T R) and Y S Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) — titled 'N.T.R. Kathanayakudu' and 'Yatra'.

Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh, too, goes in for elections with the Lok Sabha polls.

A still from "An Insignificant Man."

The main contenders in the state include, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who heads the party founded by NTR — the Telugu Desam Party, and YSRCP's Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, YSR's son.

Tamil Nadu will see the biopic of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, 'The iron lady — a story of a revolutionary leader', is slated to be released on February 24. It has Nithya Menen donning the role of the late AIADMK supremo.

Poster of "The Iron Lady", a biopic of Jayalalithaa

To garner more audience, the films have applied a simple formula:
Mass/famous leader + celebrities essaying the roles = large audience.

The cast of 'The Accidental Prime Minister' and 'Thackeray' has Anupam Kher and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles.

While the cast of NTR's biopic include Nandamuri Balakrishna, Vidya Balan, and Rana Daggubati, that of YSR's has Malayalam actor Mammootty in the lead role.

This, however, is not the first time a biopic on a politician has been made.

In December 2017, Vice released a documentary on Arvind Kejriwal title 'An Insignificant Man' — this has over 18 lakh views on Youtube.

A still from ""An Insignificant Man."
Saif Ali Khan in "Sacred Games."

Documentaries, references, or an entire movie on a politician is bound to have controversy attached to it and often make it to headlines like in the case of Saif Ali Khan starrer web series 'Sacred Games.'

A Congress activist had filed a case against the producers of the series and actor Nawazudding Siddiqui for reportedly using derogatory language while referring to former prime minister Rajeev Gandhi.

After an array of biopics on sports stars like Mary Kom, M S Dhoni and Mohammad Azharuddin, which have done pretty well at the box office, the entertainment industry has now turned towards politicians to be their muse.