A Bollywood filmmaker is working on a movie about Indian boxing star and mother-of-two Mary Kom, whose bronze medal at the London Olympics cemented her status as a national hero.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali said yesterday he was moved by the story of Kom, a poor farmer’s daughter from the remote northeast of India who overcame the odds to become a five-time world champion and Olympic medalist.
“Here’s a person so splendid, so inspiring, so wonderful,” Bhansali said. “Her story needs to be told to the world. It’s a wonderful story of a fighter in life.”
Bhansali, who directed the 2002 hit movie Devdas, said biopics were not made frequently in Hindi-language Bollywood, but he was “very, very moved” when he read the script.
He said he had not yet found an actor for the lead role.
“We’ll be auditioning a lot of people for it. Let’s see,” he said.
Bhansali will be producing the film, while Omung Kumar, who wrote the script, will direct, with a scheduled release date in the middle of next year.
Kom, 29, told the Times of India she hoped the film would improve ties between the marginalized northeast region where she comes from and the rest of the country.
In related news, a police officer accidentally shot dead a 64-year-old man at homecoming celebrations in India for Kom, officials said.
Kom was greeted by large crowds in Churachandpur town in Manipur State when the reception in her honor was interrupted by the gunshot.
The victim was rushed to hospital, but died of his injuries after the accident on Sunday, while the police constable has been arrested.
“It was a freak accidental firing that led to the death of a man named Dongjapao during the celebrations,” a police official said by telephone, adding that the program had continued after the shooting.