Omung Kumar on Modi biopic: Delay won’t affect our film

Having abided by Election Commision’s decision, director on releasing Modi biopic a day after election results are announced

We are happy that the film has a release date,” begins director Omung Kumar, his face awash with relief. PM Narendra Modi, the Vivek Oberoi-fronted biopic on India’s current prime minister, is finally set to hit screens on May 24, a day after the results of the general elections will be announced. “As a filmmaker, you want your work to be out there and it is finally happening. Right now, we are just waiting for May 24. We are hoping to have a smooth release now.”

It has been a long wait for Oberoi and Kumar to see their dream project on the big screen – the biopic was initially slated to hit the marquee on April 11. However, a day before its scheduled release, the Election Commission barred the movie’s screening citing the model code of conduct, which states that any film “having the potential to disturb the level playing field during the election should not be displayed in electronic media”. While the makers knocked the doors of the Supreme Court challenging the stay, the court directed the EC to watch the film and submit its view. After the EC reiterated its decision on April 22, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the order.

Despite its hindered start, Kumar is optimistic about the film’s fate at the box office. “It would have been nicer if the movie had released earlier. But we respect the decision that was passed. The delay isn’t going to affect the film. People are inquisitive and want to watch it. Now, our entire focus is on releasing the film.”

The election results will be a clear indicator of the sentiments of Indian citizens. Quiz him if he is worried about the results affecting his offering, and he says, “It is an independent film that has nothing to do with the election results. So, we are not even thinking of it. We want the audience to watch our film as we know they are curious [about the subject].”

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