MUMBAI: Veteran actor Anupam Kher will play Manmohan Singh in a movie based on a memoir by the former prime minister’s media adviser Sanjay Baru.
The release of Baru’s book, The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh, was critical of Singh’s first term as PM and had coincided with the 2014 parliamentary polls. The movie is expected to hit the screens in December 2018, just ahead of the next general election in 2019.
The film’s first look will be unveiled on Wednesday. Producer Sunil Bohra said it will be a political drama grander than Richard Attenborough’s Academy award winning Gandhi. National award-winning director Hansal Mehta has written the screenplay for the film, which will be directed by debutant Vijay Ratnakar Gutte.
While Kher has been finalised to play Singh, the remaining cast is being decided.
The research on the movie is already over. Auditioning (for the remaining cast) is in its final lap. The movie will hit the screens next year,” said Bohra, who has co-produced films like Gangs of Wasseypur and Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster.
Kher confirmed that he has taken up the role. “Acting the role of anyone in contemporary history is extremely challenging, as comparisons are bound to be instant and inevitable. But as I have always revelled in challenges, right from my first film Saaransh, I look forward to the experience of portraying PM Manmohan Singh,” he told ET.
Focus on Working of PMO Under Singh
Director Gutte is looking forward to making his Bollywood debut with a unique project.
“I am obliged to get a hold on the story that I truly believe has to be told with utmost honesty and integrity,” he told ET. “A script as magnanimously relevant as this needed a perfect actor. I feel that the depth of maturity and demeanour required to portray the prime minister could have only been embodied by the versatile veteran,Anupam Sir.
The special focus of the film will be on the inside workings of the PMO under Singh, people associated with the project said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Journalist and policy analyst Baru advised Singh on media affairs from May 2004, soon after he was unexpectedly made the PM, to August 2008. The book raised a political storm in 2014, causing embarrassment to the Congress party during the polls that BJP won with a large majority.