July 1, 2011

Kaptaan Imran on the silver screen

Akhila Ranganna

Moments from the life of Imran Khan, arguably Pakistan’s most charismatic cricketer, will soon appear on celluloid. Faisal Aman Khan, a Britain-based independent filmmaker has directed an independent film titled ‘Kaptaan’ (captain) which focuses on Imran’s political life as well as glimpses of his relationship with ex-wife Jemima Khan. The film is currently in post-production, and Faisal met Imran several times while researching the project to get his endorsement. “Imran Khan was reluctant at first and claimed that it was more important to focus on other aspects of the country," Naveed Anwar, the film's assistant director and screenwriter, told the Express Tribune. “We wanted to make a film that would project the positive side of Pakistan. It was hard as there are very few personalities in Pakistan that who have a global appeal.”

Anwar said the film traces Imran’s entry into politics and juxtaposes his struggle for Pakistan's future with that of Mohammad Ali Jinnah's, the country's founder. Pakistan model Abdul Mannan, who reportedly bears an uncanny resemblance to Imran, will play the title role. Pakistani-American mode Saeeda Imtiaz, plays Jemima and her role looks at the various challenges Jemima faced while living in Pakistan as Imran’s wife and the various complexities of their relationship. The film has a cast of 107 actors and while the producers are yet to reveal its release date, they plan to screen the film in Pakistan and abroad. A film on his cricketing life is awaited – and no one can play his role better than the man himself.

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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