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At some stage, I want to make a documentary: Rajkumar Hirani

The filmmaker says biopics are more interesting when presented in a fictional format.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images


Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who is busy with the post-production process of his upcoming biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, says biopics are more interesting when presented in a fictional format.

Hirani spoke at a #FilmsForChange' initiative, organised by Good Pitch India and the Indian Documentary Foundation here. He was there along with Nandita Das, Naseeruddin Shah, Rahul Dholakia and Javed Jaffery on Wednesday.

While Hirani is making a film on Dutt's life now, the BBC had made a documentary on the controversial actor's life back in 1996. It was titled To Hell and Back.

Asked whether he ever thought of making a documentary on Sanjay's life instead of doing it in a fictionalised format, Hirani said: "Certain subjects will be more engaging if they are done in a fiction format and certain subjects would probably be more interesting in a documentary format.

"PK (2014) was the only film which I started with reverse where I wanted to talk about God and religion, but in the journey of making that film, I realised that I am ending up talking very little about it. There is so much to talk about God and religion that you cannot actually say enough in a fictional format.

"In a fictional format, it is expected that you have to sugarcoat your story, entertain the audience and still manage to say what you want to say. So, at some stage, I do want to make a documentary."

"There are still unsaid or undiscussed issues that I haven't been able to show in PK, so I want to do a documentary where you can say what you want to say. But in a film like Sanju, I think it's more engaging as a fictional film where you see another actor doing it.

"If you would simply pick up a mike (microphone) and say, 'Okay, there is a man who did drugs, who had a gun and did other things then', it's boring. I feel biopics are more interesting when you see it in a fictional format. Otherwise, it gets boring.

"Subjects where you want to say something else like as I said, if I want to talk about God, then I will probably go for a documentary but not a biopic," he said.

Sanju, the title of Hirani's forthcoming biographical drama film, is produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Actor Ranbir Kapoor essays Dutt's life on-screen in the movie, set to be released on 29 June.