Tennis champ Leander Paes’ long-pending B-Town debut is slated to finally see light of day in January. The project helmed by producer-director Ashok Kohli mirrors contemporary Indian society. It’s plot ironically finds a similarity in the recent case of the two Palghar youngsters — Shaheen Dhada and Rini Srinivasan — who were arrested for commenting on a social networking site about the recent shutdown in Mumbai.
Paes had chosen this film for his acting debut due to the slice-of-life subject. Despite his packed tennis commitments, he had managed to time out for the shoot.
Says Kohli, “The film is about the freedom of the common man in a democracy. It has its core message that a person has the right to freedom of speech and expression. In a democracy, a common man cannot live in fear; freedom is enshrined in our Constitution. Any kind of intimidation has to be opposed.”
The arrest and questioning of the Palghar girls has again brought to the limelight the right to freedom of speech. “In the film too, the protagonist (Leander) questions and has to face the consequences. His posers take on the red-tapism, bureaucracy and things that a VVIPs and politicians can get away with,” adds Kohli.
The filmmaker also informs that the sports personality who has been busy with his tournaments is slated to take time out closer to the release of the film for its promotions.