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Biopic on Mary Kom not a risk: Omung Kumar

Biopic on Mary Kom not a risk Omung Kumar Omung Kumar, who is making his directorial debut with a biopic on Indian woman boxer Mary Kom, says he did not consider it as a risky proposition, but as an inspiring story that needed to be told.

‘Mary Kom’, which is set for a release on September 5, is a biopic on Olympic bronze medallist and five-time World Champion from Manipur MC Mary Kom.

“It (film) is the first of its kind being made in Bollywood… I did not think of the film as a risk. Biopics work because it is zero-to-hero story. The emotions run high.. It is a huge pull for anyone. It is not that I made this film after seeing ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’. I had the idea much before it was made,” Omung told PTI in an interview here.

“I started this film three and half years back before any film on sports (biopic films) was made. We had started researching on Mary Kom. We had spoken to her three and half years back about this project. Then I approached Sanjay Leela Bhansali (producer) and Priyanka Chopra and things fell in place. It may be a trend now,” he said.

The story of Mary Kom was so inspiring that Omung thought it was the perfect plot for his debut film.

“Five years back I was writing my own film. I was looking for a strong woman-oriented story that an actress can’t say no to. With my writers we started researching and came across the story of Mary Kom…her journey. I had not heard about her I felt not many people also know about a five time boxing champion,” Omung said.

“This was not my genre. My genre is over the top, larger than life, but I took up the challenge. I wanted to make a good cinema. I felt people will take notice of this film so I went ahead and met Mary in Manipur to talk to her about making a film on her. When we told her this she was like have you all gone mad? Later she agreed and the rest is history,” he said.

Omung says making a biopic on a woman boxer was not an easy task.

“The difficult part is the movie itself as it is my debut film as a director, a film on boxing. I am totally clueless about boxing. I had to learn boxing to learn the technique and convince the actors to do it (the film),” Omung said.
“It is a dream come true to make my debut with a hard hitting and gripping film like this,” he said.

For Omung, everything was a challenge while making this film.

“It is a tough film not only for Priyanka, but for others also who were involved in this film. It’s not easy to make a biopic on a living legend,” he added.

Actress Priyanka Chopra will be seen as Mary Kom and newcomer Darshan Kumar will portray the role of her husband K Onler Kom.

“I had to convince Priyanka to do the role as she also found it little tough. But she likes challenges. It is a die for role,” Omung said.

The makers of the film do plan to bring Mary Kom for one of the promotional events of the film.

“We had no plans to bring Mary for the trailer launch event as it was about presenting Priyanka as Mary on screen. She will be part of the promotions, but it is too early to talk about it. She (Mary) saw the film, she wept… She liked it, which is a big thing for us,” Omung said.

– PTI