Srijit Mukherji takes over as director for Taapsee Pannu’s ‘Shabaash Mithu’ | Mint
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Business News/ Industry / Media/  Srijit Mukherji takes over as director for Taapsee Pannu’s ‘Shabaash Mithu’
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Srijit Mukherji takes over as director for Taapsee Pannu’s ‘Shabaash Mithu’

The film was earlier supposed to be helmed by Rahul Dholakia known for Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees. It is produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures

Sports drama Shabaash Mithu is based on the life of cricketer Mithali Raj.Premium
Sports drama Shabaash Mithu is based on the life of cricketer Mithali Raj.

New Delhi: Taapsee Pannu’s sports drama Shabaash Mithu based on the life of cricketer Mithali Raj will now be directed by Srjit Mukerji, known for films like Begum Jaan and Bengali movie Rajkahini. The film was earlier supposed to be helmed by Rahul Dholakia known for Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees. It is produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures.

In a statement, Dholakia confirmed he wouldn’t be directing the film, adding that “covid messed up everyone’s schedules, mine was no different."

To be sure, Indian cinema’s love for sports biopics is evident in the number of films slated for release soon. Ranveer Singh will essay the role of cricketer Kapil Dev in ’83 while Ajay Devgn will be seen as real-life football coach Syed Abdul Rahim in Maidaan. More recently, Hindi film industry also turned to the specific genre of women and sports films to drive theatrical audiences, as real slice-of-life stories emerge and female-led cinema finds more favour at the box office. This March, T-Series released Saina, based on the life of badminton player Saina Nehwal, starring Parineeti Chopra.

Media experts say that since filmmaking is a business, for sports movies to be appealing, the narrative must be married to something that will be commercially successful.

“So, when you’re picking people whom you will talk about, they have to be subjects that will click and whose life has already found a certain currency. And sport is one such subject which is of interest to people," Prasoon Joshi, writer of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a biopic of Milkha Singh, had said in an earlier interview to Mint.

Making a sports biopic has some in-built advantages. For the audiences, they offer the charm of watching movie stars assume the roles of known sports personalities, pushing themselves out of traditional comfort zones and seeking critical appreciation. Further, there are specific marketing opportunities these films lend themselves to, allowing for several corporate partnerships, and resonating with people since it’s a story of human triumph.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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Published: 24 Jun 2021, 10:36 AM IST
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