Sequel of a biopic! Seriously? What is wrong with Bollywood filmmakers?


Time and again Bollywood has followed trends that are already popular in other film industries. Earlier in our industry, a film was never developed into a franchise but over the past few years, several big banners offered the viewers with hit franchise like ‘Baahubali’, ‘Dhoom’ ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ among others which went on to become huge box-office successes.

Though these movie franchises have been a huge hit, however what pains us the most is how the concept of sequels is so misunderstood by some filmmakers in Bollywood. In the name of sequels our filmmakers just try to en-cash on the popularity of the film’s previous instalments. We have very few franchises which actually take the story of its previous instalments forward. Otherwise, a majority of the time only the title of these films are similar with an added suffix of 2, 3 and so on.

Another current trend that Bollywood is diligently following these days is making biopics. Yes, every second filmmaker is making a biopic either on an actor, politician, sportsperson or some other eminent personalities. Though we don’t have any problem with these biopics but anything done excessively defeats the purpose of such biopics.

Just because a biopic became a success at the box office everyone in B-town now either wants to make one or star in one. Currently, we have near about 15 biopics in the pipeline! Yes you read that right. We wonder when our filmmakers are going to get rid of this herd mentality.

Now, these already lined up biopics weren’t enough that stories of cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s biopic ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ and the recently released ‘Sanju’ (based on the life of Sanjay Dutt, one of the most controversial actors of Bollywood) to have a sequel started doing the rounds. Ever since I came across these stories I am scratching my head and wondering since when biopics started having sequels???

Reportedly, the sequel of MS Dhoni biopic will focus on Dhoni’s achievements after India’s victory at the 2011 World Cup. Apparently, the sequel may even focus on Dhoni’s personal life, especially the birth of his daughter. On the other hand, there have been reports of ‘Sanju’ having a sequel as many important phases of the actor’s life were missing from the current film.

It is an understood fact that a life of a person cannot be captured entirely in a 2-3 hours film, and therefore tremendous effort has to be put in the scripting stage of these biopics so that all the crucial parts of that person’s life are covered. However, our filmmakers are very innovative thinkers and have therefore come up with the idea of making sequels of biopic!

Interestingly the writer of ‘Sanju’-Abhijat Joshi, in one of his media interactions during the film’s promotions had said that out of 750 pages of the actor’s (Sanjay Dutt) life they have used only 150 pages in the film. So still there are a lot of interesting stories from the actor’s life that can be translated on the celluloid. But thankfully, director Rajkumar Hirani has clearly told Sanjay and Ranbir Kapoor that there would be no sequel of ‘Sanju’, as according to him, ‘A person can have only one biopic’ and that’s exactly and precisely what our point is! No matter how many interesting chapters there are in a person’s life, he or she can have only one BIOPIC. Period.

How we wish our other Bollywood filmmakers understand that a sequel means a film that takes the story of its previous instalment forward (and not just a way of en-cashing on the popularity of the franchise) and also the fact that the way a person can never play himself in his/her biopic, in the same way, there cannot be a sequel of a biopic no matter what.

Also Read: O Womaniya…How our actresses are bringing a much needed paradigm shift