A film on Indian football legend VP Sathyan coming out soon
Biopics are seemingly the order of the day. MS Dhoni got one, Mohammed Azhar got one and Sachin Tendulkar is getting one.
All of these figures are pivotal ones – Azhar was an enigmatic character where rights and wrongs merged into a cauldron of pure box-office, MS Dhoni is our nation's captain and Sachin... well... if they don't make a movie out of that man, there's something wrong with the world
All of them are famous, charismatic and all of them are cricketers.
In a nation that is obsessed with anything that has to do with the game that we rule worldwide, it is but natural that the sportspeople with films based on them are cricketers.
Which is why this is so refreshing.
Versatile Malayalam actor Jayasurya is all set to star in a movie based on the life of legendary Kerala and India captain Vatta Parambath Sathyan – the man you and I know as VP Sathyan.
Kerala was always a football-mad state, but it had never achieved much on the national stage till Satyan took the captain's armband and forged a steely spine around which Kerala Police won 2 Federation Cups and Kerala, 2 Santosh Trophies.
The tough-as-nails centre back was known for his keen positional sense, ability to read the game like an open book, and metronomic passing ability.
Starting with Kerala police, he had a nomadic club career where he went to Kolkata to play for the legendary clubs Mohan Bagan and Mohammed Sporting (he was a firm believer that to improve one's game, one needed to travel outside of one's hometown – and he loved Kolkata and their footie culture) before ending up at Indian Bank in Chennai.
He went on to manage the club, but his end was tragic. Crippled with what appears (in hindsight) to be that most underrated of terrors – depression – he took his own life in 2006, aged just 41.
He was never given his due during his playing career – Kerala Police, in particular, took affront to him moving out to Bengal, the Indian captaincy was ripped off him in ignominious circumstances – nor after.
This, then, is a much overdue bit of recognition for Indian football's most enigmatic characters.
The movie, with a budget of more than 10 Crores, directed by Prajeesh Sen, is slated to be Jayasurya's biggest movie yet
"VP Sathyan's life is being made into a film. Many of you might not be aware about him, but he is a legendary football player from Kerala," said Jayasurya in a video. "When the director told me that I will be playing the lead role in it, I was super excited. The movie is the production venture of Goodwill entertainment, which has bankrolled many good movies in Malayalam. It is a big budget movie and has been titled Captain. I request all your support."
It's about time that the veterans of Indian football get the recognition and appreciation that is due. Kudos to Mollywood (I am sorry, that's what they call it) for taking a small step in that direction