Biopics and films based on real-life incidents have always been a lengthy affair, sometimes even more than 3 hours. Not just Bollywood, this is a trend seen even in the case of Hollywood films. As for sports biopics of Bollywood, a few of them have been shorter in length like Mary Kom (2.02 hours) and Soorma (2.11 hours) but then there have also been films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and M S Dhoni – The Untold Story which were quite long at 3.09 hours and 3.10 hours respectively. Even the much-loved period fictional sports film Lagaan had a mind-boggling duration of 3.43 hours.
The upcoming film ’83, which is a sports-based drama, and also one of the most awaited films of 2020, has also turned out to be a lengthy flick. And the many producers of the film are figuring if it can be shortened in any way. A source close to the film says, “’83 is not just about the historic final match of the 1983 Cricket World Cup but also about the entire series. Also, the film focuses not just on Ranveer Singh, who plays Kapil Dev, but on other players and characters connected to the cricketers in some way. As a result, the film has become quite long. However, the producers are happy to see that the film is quite engaging and entertaining.”
Then what’s the problem with the length? “The producers are just figuring out if there’s any way the film’s length can be brought down without making it lose its essence. The shorter the film, the more shows it can have in multiplexes. The makers know they have a very special film in hand and hence want to ensure it looks as appealing to the viewers as possible. And the popular belief in today’s fast-paced time is that a film with shorter length is something that the youngsters prefer.”
It now remains to be seen if the makers manage to get the desired length of ’83 or whether they go ahead with the longer runtime.
’83, as the name suggests, is based on the 1983 Cricket World Cup. It focuses on how the underdog Indian Cricket Team emerged triumphant against West Indies, then the most powerful team in the world. It stars Ranveer Singh along with Deepika Padukone, playing his wife. Actors like Tahir Raj Bhasin, Ammy Virk, Saqib Saleem, Hardy Sandhu, Sahil Khattar and others play the rest of the team. It is directed by the prolific filmmaker Kabir Khan.