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Dangal in trouble? Geeta Phogat’s real coach offended by negative portrayal

PR Sondhi is contemplating legal action against the film's producers.

Our Correspondent

Aamir Khan’s Dangal has become a runaway success both critically and commercially. The film directed by Nitesh Tiwari has earned Rs129 crore in just four days of its release. However, it seems trouble is brewing for the film. 

PR Sondhi, Geeta Phogat’s trainer during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, has taken offence at the negative portrayal of the young woman's coach in the film. He believes the character, named PR Kadam in the film, is based on him. The role has been essayed by Girish Kulkarni. Kadam is shown to be at loggerheads with Aamir Khan’s character of Mahavir Singh Phogat. That’s not all. Kadam is shown committing a negative act on Phogat.

Speaking to a portal, Sondhi said, “I know for a fact that Mahavir Phogat will never say such things to the filmmakers as he is a gentleman. I have not seen the film yet, but the facts told to me by my students highlight things that I didn't do.”

Sondhi mentioned that there were five coaches for the team in reality. “Firstly, there were as many as five coaches, including foreign ones from Georgia. Why was I depicted as the only one?”

He is also irked by the negative act. “Secondly, the door closing thing, that is preposterous; just to spice things up you can't defame me, can you? I know the name isn't the same, but it's quite evident that I'm the person being referred to here,” he said.

Sondhi revealed that he had met Aamir Khan when the Dangal team was doing research for the film but had no idea how the information would be used. “I met Aamir Khan in Ludhiana regarding the film and he didn't discuss the final sequence at all. If inputs were taken from me, then why create such fictional events about me?” 

In the film, Khan's character is shown interfering with Geeta’s coaching. But Sondhi denies Phogat ever did that. He is now contemplating action after watching the film. “Everything was amicable, but distorting facts hurts my reputation. [My work was] something which saw me become national wrestling coach. I will watch the film and take a call whether to take serious legal action,” said Sondhi.