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Posted at: May 18, 2018, 12:39 AM; last updated: May 18, 2018, 12:39 AM (IST)

Sticking to goals

The actor, writer and the man on whom the biopic Harjeeta is based share one thing in common – a deep-set passion for their profession. They have loads to share...
Sticking to goals
REAL TAKE: Harjeet Singh Tuli(L) with Ammy Virk Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Gurnaaz Kaur

Each Friday unfolds many new stories on the big screen. These stories may be a source of entertainment for the masses, but a lot goes into bringing a tale together. This week, in Punjabi cinema, we’ll be witnessing Harjeeta, a biopic that chronicles the life of Harjeet Singh Tuli, an Indian field hockey player, who fights against all odds, captains the Indian squad at the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup and wins the cup!

Write act

The idea of bringing this true story of an underdog to the big screen emerged in the mind of Jagdeep Sidhu. “This was around the time when Dangal was released that Ammy and I had a talk about doing a movie around sports and a sportsperson. Around the same time India won the junior hockey world cup and there was this poster of Harjeet, which went viral. Looking at it, the positivity in that picture convinced me to do this story,” he says.

This screenwriter adds that a biopic isn’t an easy deal. He spent close to six months in researching about Harjeet. Capturing his background, all the highs and lows of his life, meeting with his friends and family members, he had to be thorough about his subject. “To present the life of a person in two-and-a-half hours isn’t easy. Even after writing for 12 films, I needed a lot of preparation for my first biopic,” Jagdeep shares.

Sporty spirit

For Harjeet, who comes from a humble background, this movie in some way was a turning point. This hockey player says it is nothing less than a dream for him. “When I got a call from Ammy Virk that he wanted to do a movie on my story, I couldn’t believe it. My life has revolved around hockey. I don’t know much about the world outside of my village and my game. It wasn’t long ago when even to play the game, I had to borrow money. Things have changed after the World Cup. Hockey has finally got some popularity and I feel, maybe, with this film, youngsters in Punjab will show interest in the game,” he smiles.

Actor prepared

“Doing comedy and romance is easy, if I compare it with playing the role of a real-life person. This film is 95 per cent a true story,” says Ammy Virk, who plays Harjeet. Learning the game, undergoing a physical transformation, understanding the mannerisms of the true character, matching his looks — Ammy did all this for the movie and feels a sense of satisfaction at the end of this journey.

“Initially, all this seemed challenging but today I feel happy about Harjeeta. By far, I’ve put in maximum effort in this film and somewhere I want to do more such roles,” he says. The journey has been trying for these three, yet entirely satisfying!

gurnaaz@tribunemail.com

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