Posted by Fenil Seta
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; August 11, 2017)
Soon after Sachin Tendulkar's biopic attracted the eye of cinephiles and fans of cricket, the story of his mentor, legendary cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar, is set to be adapted for the big screen.
Actor Rajit Kapur, who is celebrated for his portrayal of the titular role in the Doordarshan series, Byomkesh Bakshi (1993) will play Achrekar in the docu-drama titled Sir, which is set to be helmed by National Award-winning director Pramod Purswane.
Confirming the development, Purswane tells mid-day, "Rajit and I have known each other for several years. This was the perfect opportunity to collaborate." The filmmaker adds that they have already commenced shooting a month ago, and is delighted that the actor closely resembles his protagonist. "He looks the part. Achrekar's students, especially Sachin, is helping Rajit understand the man. Rajit will be able to deliver what I imagined Achrekar felt when I heard about his stories from Sachin, Chandrakant Pandit, Pravin Amre and Suresh Shastri." Given the limited footage available on the coach, Kapur says essaying the part is a challenge. "I am trying to build him up from what I was told about him. It's such a thrill to be doing the role," he says.
The film will put the spotlight on Achrekar's training methods, and how he developed the skills of arguably the greatest cricketer in Indian history. "A film about the Mumbai sports scene is incomplete without chronicling his contribution. He was a man who was able to help his students despite his own monetary compulsions."
Achrekar's students, including Amre, Pandit, Amol Muzumdar, Ajit Tendulkar and Atul Ranade, will also talk about their mentor in the film, which has been in the making for three years. With the shooting set to wrap up next month, the makers are now eyeing a December 3 release, to coincide with Achrekar's birthday.