Amongst many things, ‘83’, a film based on Kapil Dev-captained India’s historic, unexpected, and first-ever World Cup cricket triumph in 1983, too has been delayed indefinitely, due to Coronavirus pandemic. The Ranveer Singh-starrer and Kabir Khan-directed film was to be released on April 10, but Kapil says lives is a priority, and not the film, in these critical times.
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Renowned actor Pankaj Tripathi, who plays the character of the 1983 Indian team manager PR Man Singh in the film, agrees with Kapil and tells Outlook that taking care of people’s health is more important now.
Kapil Dev has been absolutely fine with the decision of 83 film being postponed. Credit: Twitter: @83thefilm
Ten days before the lockdown began on March 25, Kabir Khan had texted Kapil to inform him that the film was being delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The legendary all-rounder was ‘absolutely fine’ with the decision.
“That [film] is not a priority over our lives. If you are alive only then can you do anything. I don’t know when it will be released because that is not my subject. The person who has made it [director Kabir Khan] would know better. About ten days before the lockdown began he had messaged me, saying that he was thinking about not releasing the trailer of the film. I was okay with it. He said that the release was being delayed, and I said okay,” Kapil told Outlook.
Actor Pankaj Tripathi, who is best known for playing the award-winning character of CRPF commandant Atma Singh in Newton, says the wellbeing of the masses is most important. “I don’t know when the film would be released. What I know is that everything has come to a standstill due to Coronavirus, because the primary concern is the health of the people. And unless everything becomes normal, all film activities have been paused, and they should indeed be paused to break the chain of the virus spread. It’s a fact. But ‘83’ is a very good film,” Tripathi told Outlook. He informed that the shooting of the second season of ‘Criminal Justice’ web series, in which he plays the character of an advocate, was stopped before the lockdown came into force.
Madan Lal, one of the architects of India’s sensational World Cup triumph in England, is also waiting for things to become normal. “We can't even think about releasing the film now; it would be a sure shot losing venture. This film would be released when this virus is totally cleared. I can’t say anything about the success of the film now because even when all this clears, for some time people would still have the fear of the virus in their minds,” the Delhi-based all-rounder, who was the second-highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets in the World Cup, told Outlook. India’s Roger Binny was the tournament’s top wicket-taker with 18 scalps, one more than joint second-place holders Madan Lal and Sri Lankan speedster Ashantha de Mel.
According to cast member Pankaj Tripathi, 83’ is a very good film. Credit: Twitter: @83thefilm
Hyderabad-based Man Singh, who was also the Indian team manager in the 1987 World Cup, said: “Until all cinema houses are opened the film can't be released. And, I guess, that could happen maybe in July or August or September. For the time being everything is closed.”
On the official twitter handle of the film, this is the pinned message: ‘83 is not just our film but the entire nation’s film. But health and safety of the nation always comes first. Stay safe, take care. We shall be back soon!’
Although Kapil or any other member of the 1983 Indian team, which stunned the mighty West Indies in a low-scoring final at Lord’s, London, on June 25, appear in the film, all of them have given their consent for their stupendous achievement to be turned into a film.
Besides Ranveer, who is ‘Kapil Dev’ in the film, other actors who have played the cricketers in the film include Ranveer’s wife Deepika, who is Romi (wife of Kapil), Saqib Saleem (Mohinder Amarnath), Tahir Raj Bhasin (Sunil Gavaskar), Chirag Patil (Sandeep Patil, who is Chirag’s father in real life), and Sahil Khattar (Syed Kirmani).