Ahmedabad, Aug. 13: You may have the chance to see Narendra Modi crooning and cavorting this winter, which is when Hollywood producer Mitesh Patel hopes to release his “commercial biopic” on the Gujarat chief minister.
Whether the real-life Modi will be hopping about in delight after watching it is anyone’s guess. Patel, probably in deference to the maxim that it takes two to tango, is bent on showing the BJP leader’s childhood marriage.
Modi hardly ever cohabited with his wife and never mentions her or his marriage in public. The lady, a schoolteacher at her hometown Vadnagar, keeps a low profile.
“Modi has given his nod to the film but there are many things in it that he is not OK with. We are talking to him to convince him,” says Patel, 36, who runs Applied Art Productions in Hollywood and has produced the award-winning Delhi Safari and the soon-to-be-released Kamasutra 3D.
The expat, who left for the US in 1997, is a self-confessed fan of the chief minister but claims to have no connection with the Overseas Friends of the BJP.
Asked to what extent the 2002 pogrom features in the script, he dodges the question but says he would show the “criticism” Modi has faced and the “debate” over his personality and actions.
The film, to be made in Hindi, will have “all the commercial masala” to keep the box office salivating. “There will be songs and dances. Yes, you will see a young Modi singing and dancing,” Patel beams.
Would he go ahead even if Modi, a former Sangh pracharak, refuses to approve these scenes or the depiction of his marriage? Patel indicates he will and drops a hint about filmmakers’ “bag of tricks” and “dream sequences”.
Budget is not a constraint for him but time is. Shooting starts next month and Patel wants to complete the yet unnamed film by December 13. He would not reveal who will play Modi and who his wife.
“I had been working on the concept for two years. With Modi set to become a prime ministerial candidate, this is the perfect time,” says the Vadodara-born Patel, who did a master’s in applied arts from the town’s MS University.
Earlier in 2008, Gujarat No Nath, a film directed by Ajitsinh Jhala, had portrayed an ideal chief minister with an uncanny resemblance to Modi. It was given tax exemption but bombed.
A film critic had at the time ruled that “the real-life Modi is a more fascinating character than the one in the film.”
It is this “fascinating” story that Patel hopes to tell. “It will be an inspiring film about a living legend — a chaiwala’s son who became chief minister and who, many believe, may became Prime Minister. He is the most popular politician and yet lives like a pauper without a family.”
Patel has produced some 14 films, the latest being Finding Joy which released in June. The others include Forbidden Girl and Anything for You. He is confident about his latest project and is targeting a “global” audience.
“Indians living abroad, especially in America, are very fond of Modi,” Patel says. He certainly is one of them.