What’s the story?
While the praise for his pitch-perfect portrayal of Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still pouring in, the reel MSD, Sushant Singh Rajput is already busy with his new project – a biopic on Paralympics medalist Murlikant Petkar. There is no confirmation on when the movie is set to roll, but Sushant as Petkar has been finalised.
He said,: "The minute I heard his story, I was on. I wanted to do it without a second thought. What an inspiring story! After playing Dhoni, I’m looking forward to playing Petkar, who never allowed his physical hurdles to stand in the way of his dreams. I like playing characters who dream big.”
In case you didn’t know...
Petkar, a jawan of the craftsman rank in the Indian army, is a living hero of the 1965 war against Pakistan. Injured in the war from bullet shots, Petkar suffered irreversible injuries that forced him to end his career as a soldier. However, his physical disabilities did not deter him from continuing to serve his country.
Petkar, who was an avid sportsperson during his time in the defence forces, took to sports as a specially-abled athlete and excelled at it.
Originally a boxer at the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers in Secunderabad, Petkar changed disciplines to swimming after his injuries. Apart from swimming, he also played table tennis and made a mark in the javelin throw, precision javelin throw, athletics, and slalom events. He represented India at the 1968 Paralympics in the table tennis category and made it to the second round. He made history in the 1969 Paralympics in Heidelberg, Germany as an individual Indian in the Olympic Games.
In 1972, Petkar clocked a world-record 37.331 seconds to win gold in the 50m freestyle swimming event and claim India's first-ever individual gold medal in Paralympic history.
In the same Games, he also participated in the javelin, precision javelin, and slalom events and ended a finalist in all the meets.
The heart of the matter
Sushant will train in swimming, boxing, and other combat sports as part of his preparations, and will undergo rigorous boxing training at the Bhiwani Boxing Club, that has produced some great boxers like Vijender Singh, Hawa Singh, and Akhil Kumar. Tentatively titled Murli: The Unsung Hero, the movie will be directed by Prashant Singh. The biopic is expected to hit the big screens in the last quarter of 2017.
Sushant Singh Rajput has proved his mettle as an accomplished actor. It will be interesting to see how well he makes a move from hitting helicopter sixes to using his limbs under water. Murlikant Petkar’s relatively unknown name among the present generation could turn into yet another cinematically-made-famous real life story.