Kolkata: Legendery sports journalist Moti Nandi's novel 'Bicycle Kick', based on famous football star Shyam Thapa's exploits, will be turned into a film soon. 'Bicycle Kick' will be the third sports film based on Nandi's writings after 'Striker' and 'Koni'. Koni had bagged a national award.
Young filmmaker Debashis Sen Sharma told PTI his film would be a tribute to Nandi. "My film is a tribute to the late sports scribe Moti Nandi, a legend in his lifetime, as I still remember how his writings on Shyam Thapa's movement in the opponent penalty box and the bicycle shots he often indulged in electrified his readers," he said.
The first authentic Bengali sports film 'Striker' was based on Nandi's eponymous novel on the struggle of a lower middle class nimble-footed youth's fight to get a toehold in the fiercely competitive Kolkata football arena.
It had many footages and references of Maidan football of the 70s. 'Bicycle Kick' also referred to that era. So you can call it completing the circle. Football and the Bengalis have a long connection, dating back ages," he pointed out.
Bicycle Kick is a movie where the character, Motida, (modelled on the character of Moti Nandi) has a non-physical presence as the narrator who turns the life of a 19-year-old football talent from poor background, Rubayet, into a success
and also presents that to his audience.
"Like 'Striker', this movie also seeks to convey a message that one can rise above one's immediate circumstances, setbacks, obstacles and fear of failure to become successful in life," he said.
Asked about a song in the film 'Shob Sera Tumi Bangalir Ei Football', a rendition of the original super hit by Manna Dey, the director said the song sums up Bengalis' passion for football, specially in the 60s and 70s when there was no TV set to beam live football matches of La Liga, English Premier League or Copa America.
Newcomer Sourav, the grandson of Uttam Kumar, who has essayed the lead role of Rubayet, said, "I have heard about the sports reports by Moti Nandi from family elders and know he was a venerable journalist."
The cast of the movie, including young actor Ridhima, had trained for two months to familiarise themselves with the technicalities of the game.