Aamir Khan’s response to allegations on Dangal by real Life coach P R Sondhi
While Dangal is busy breaking box office records, getting praises and great reviews from critics, there is at least one man who is not happy and is fuming at what he alleges to be misrepresentation of facts.
P R Sondhi, the national wrestling coach who trained the Phogat girls in real life has expressed his dissatisfaction over the way he was portrayed in the film. He came out more or less as an anti-hero in the film and he is not very happy about it. The movie depicts a character modeled after him that is shown in negative light.
Dangal is a biopic on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, played by Aamir Khan, a wrestler who trained his two daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat, played by Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra, who go on to represent India and win medals.
In the movie, Mahavir Singh Phogat trains his two daughters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat in wrestling. Then the movie shows a national coach named P.R.Kadam in the film take over the coaching of the girls. This character P.R.Kadam seems to be modelled after P R Sondhi, the reali life national coach of the girls. The film shows scenes where coach Kadam locks Mahavir Phogat in a room restraining him from cheering for his girls.
Earlier he said:
“They have changed the name to PR Kadam in the film, but somewhere the character is loosely based on my life. I have known Mahavirji (Phogat, wrestling coach and father of Geeta and Babita Phogat) for many years and he is a thorough gentleman. His two daughters have trained under me for more than three years and not once did he interfere. I don’t understand the need to show the character as such a taskmaster. There were four other coaches, who were also involved [in the training], but they haven’t been shown in the film at all. Distortion of facts has hurt my reputation. Once I watch the film, I will speak to the wrestling federation. I also plan to meet Aamir and seek an explanation.”
Sondhi met Aamir in Ludhiana when he was shooting for the film there. “Kripa Shankar Bishnoi, who trained Aamir for Dangal, has been my student. When we all met, Aamir asked me general questions about wrestling, but not once did he discuss anything about the film. He should have told me how they were planning to portray the coach’s character,” he said.
The 70 years old coach says that the movie has tarnished his reputation.
“Distortion of facts has hurt my reputation. Once I watch the film, I will speak to the wrestling federation. I also plan to meet Aamir and seek an explanation.”
Aamir Khan addressed Sondhi’s complaints and said that when a biopic is made, facts are often mixed with a touch of fiction, but the essence of the story is retained.
Aamir Khan, who is currently on a holiday in Panchgani, said “In every biopic little fiction is added but essence of their story is kept intact.”
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 29, 2016
Whether this is the end of the allegations remains to be seen.
Aamir Khan is soon expected to be on a box office standoff with Shahrukh Khan when his film Secret Superstar will release in August 2017 clashing with Shahrukh’s Imtiaz Ali film.
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