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Sobhraj Versus Sobhraj: The war of the Sobhraj biopics

Subhash K. Jha
26 April 2013

Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) The war of the Charles Sobhraj epics has just begun. Even as DAR Motion Pictures have acquired the rights to film Farrukh Dhondy's book "Bikini Murders", allegedly based on the life and crimes of Charles Sobhraj, news comes that another Sobhraj film is all set to go on the floors this July.

This one entitled "Bad" (earlier entitled "Jailbreak") would be produced by Pooja Bhatt and directed by Prawal Raman, who directed thriller "404".

And hear this. "Bad", Raman clarifies, is not about Sobhraj.

"I am not interest in Sobhraj. A man who spent 40 years of his life in jail doesn't interest me. It is his daredevil prison escape from Tihar jail in Delhi in 1986 that gripped me. My film is based on Sobhraj's jail break. And the real hero of the film are the two senior cops Amodh Kanth and Madhukar Zhende who nabbed Sobhraj after his prison escape," said Raman.

Pooja Bhatt's blue-eyed boy Randeep Hooda will play Sobhraj.

Hooda, known to go into intense preparation for his parts has already begun researching for the film which would focus not on Sobhraj's exploits, but his daredvilish jailbreak from Tihar.

The senior cops Kanth and Zhende, who arrested Sobhraj after the jailbreak, would be pivotal character in Prawal Raman's film.

"In fact, my film is based on the accounts of Amod Kanth," revealed Raman.

Attempts to film Sobhraj's life have so far been stonewalled by legal hurdles placed by the global charlatan himself.

And that brings us to the other proposed Sobhraj bio-pic based on "Bikini Murders" and would be directed by Anurag Kashyap.

When I contacted author-columnist Farrukh Dhondy in London, he confirmed: "The rights to the book were negotiated with a group called DAR with Anurag Kashyap."

May the best bio-pic win.

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