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Dev Adhikari applauds Dhrubo Banerjee for imparting history lesson through Golondaaj

The film is a biopic of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, the father of Indian football, with Dev Adhikari playing the protagonist.

Roushni Sarkar

The Dev Adhikari-starrer Golondaaj, biopic of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, the man who is known as the father of Indian football, is slated for a theatrical release on 10 October.

The period film, directed by Dhrubo Banerjee, documents Sarbadhikari’s journey as a pioneering Indian footballer who also stood up to the British rulers of the time and fought for the rights of his countrymen.

Speaking of the film's grand scale, the leading man said, “We don’t need to hide that the Bengali film industry runs on extremely low budgets, but it is commendable of [the producers] SVF to have opted for a project of such a grand scale.”

Adhikari further said that despite being football fanatics, Bengalis are hardly aware of the history of the game in our country. “In fact, before Dhrubo-da called me, I, too, wasn’t aware of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari,” he admitted.

The actor-producer applauded Banerjee for taking up the responsibility of imparting a history lesson through the film. “I am sure Dhrubo-da has a long way to go, but this film will have immense archival significance. We have put immense hard work [into it] and those days are not going to come back," he remarked.

“We had a research team to weave the entire story of Golondaaj, but I will give the entire credit for casting to Dhrubo-da,” Adhikari continued, speaking of his 'team' in the film. “He hunted for the choicest talents who have all outdone my performance. To gather these 10 members of the football team after auditioning more than 250 individuals was hard work. I don’t think the film would have been possible without them.”

Anirban Bhattacharya, John Bhattacharya, Indrasish Roy and Ujan Chatterjee are among the 10 actors who are part of Sarbadhikari’s team in the film. Ishaa Saha portrays Sarbadhikari’s wife while Alexx O’Nell will be seen as the antagonist.

Speaking of Saha, who had also worked with the filmmaker in Guptodhoner Sondhane (2018) and Durgeshgorer Guptodhon (2019), Dev Adhikari said, “Ishaa is one of the promising talents of this generation. She also pointed out that we are looking good together on screen. I learnt a lot from her."

The star said that in the two years of making the film, all the other artistes and he, too, got engaged in other projects, but Banerjee did not deviate from his goal even once. “The film is looking seamless and gorgeous, but trust me, it wasn’t an easy job when we started working on it.

“I had not worked with SVF for more than two-and-a-half years when Dhrubo-da called me for the film," he continued. "I had worked in a commercial directed by him and I think we bonded well over the work."

For Golondaaj, Adhikari first got a call from Banerjee. Thereafter, SVF Entertainment co-founder Mahendra Soni contacted him. “I got associated with the film 10 months before shooting began,” he added.

According to him, Banerjee had to go through a struggle to make the film. “Dhrubo-da will make his mark for the long run with this film," he predicted. "Golondaaj will remain one of his best, whether it becomes a hit or not.”