Fiction format more suitable for biopics, says Rajkumar Hirani

Mumbai: Rajkumar Hirani, whose next is a biopic on his ‘Munnabhai’ star Sanjay Dutt, believes the actor’s life story would translate better in the fiction format.

Actor Ranbir Kapoor plays the lead role in the movie.

When asked if the Dutt biopic could’ve been turned into a documentary, Hirani said, “In a film like ‘Sanju’, I think it’s more engaging as a fictional film where you see another actor doing it. Otherwise, I can just say, ‘Ok here’s a man who did drugs, did this’ it’s boring,” he said at ‘Films For Change’ campaign launch of ‘Good Pitch India’ hosted by The Indian Documentary Foundation.

“I feel biopics are more interesting if you see them in a fictional format, otherwise they get boring,” he added.

Hirani said the medium of documentary suits certain subjects better and he experienced this with his film “PK”.

“Certain subjects will be more engaging if they are done in a fictional format. Certain subjects will probably say more in a documentary format. In ‘PK’, I wanted to talk about God and religion. But in the journey of making the film, I realised that I ended up talking very little about it.

“There is so much to talk about God and religion that a film format isn’t enough to say. In a fiction format, you are expected to tell your story, entertain them and still manage to say what you want to. At some stage, I do want to make a documentary.”

Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, who was also present at the event, said in order to make a documentary on Dutt, people also need to have proper footage.

“In order to make a documentary on Sanjay you need to have footage of when he was born, when he went to school etc,”

Also present at the event were Javed Jaffrey, filmmakers like Nandita Das and Rahul Dholakia. They both made “Parzania” and “Firaaq” on Gujurat riots.

When asked if they can make those films today in an environment where people are very touchy, Dholakia said, “I’ll make it as a documentary because you can’t make it as a feature film. It was tough then, very tough releasing the film, censoring it back in 2005-2006… So till today we face problems because of that.

“Considering the way everyone is so sensitive to everything, it’s almost impossible to tell something and have people take it the right way… Today a ‘Padmaavat’ faces problems, where’s the question of ‘Parzania’,” he said.