Narendra Modi's journey from a common man to the chief minister of Gujarat has caught the fancy of NRI filmmaker Mitesh Patel, who is making a projected Rs.40 crore movie on him. He admits the film on the politico couldn't be better-timed, but denied it being an "image-building exercise" for Modi ahead of the general elections due next year.
The idea for a movie on Modi's rise to power set in two years back in Patel's mind. And it was just last week that Patel met Modi in Gandhinagar.
"He said, 'You can make it'," Patel, who will produce the project, told IANS over phone from Ahmedabad. He is here scouting for locations for his film
"The elections are coming, and I think it's perfect timing for my film," said Patel, adding that the movie will essentially delve on how Modi progressed from being a tea stall worker to a political leader, who is now seen by many as the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate.
"I am very impressed by his progress, so my movie is based on him and his struggle. I wish to give a positive message through the film. I have met him and explained my idea to him, and he said, 'Okay'," Patel, who is originally from Baroda, said.
Is it an image-building exercise?
"I am not targeting anything like that. The film is just on him, and it is not an effort to present any sort of truth. May the best person win the elections, but my film is not for any image-building," he clarified.
The yet untitled movie is likely to go on floors in September, and it may be shot in Mumbai and Gujarat.
The film's director and cast are yet to be locked. However, writer Mihir Bhuta, and Kishore Makwana, a close Modi associate, who has penned a book titled "Samaajik Samrasta" based on Modi's speeches and writings, are helping Patel to put the film together.
"They are helping me with perfect information on Modi sir, and I am also taking help of books. But the film will be a mix of fact and fiction. Mihir Bhuta has written the script," said Patel.
As for the lead actor, the producer has his eyes set on the versatile Paresh Rawal.
Patel, hopes to present the movie as a commercial biopic on the lines of the recently released hit "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", which profiled the struggles of ace athlete Milkha Singh and "Guru", which was inspired by the life of businessman Dhirubhai Ambani.
"I want to give a very good message through the movie, and in a way that even general people (who do not follow politics) understand it. Not many people want to look at serious documentaries," he said.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)