“If 83 was made 20-30 years back I would’ve definitely played my role,” said former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev on Monday. He was speaking at a press event organised in Kolkata ahead of the film’s release on December 24.
83 chronicles the journey of the Indian cricket team winning their maiden World Cup title in 1983 under Dev’s captaincy. The upcoming Hindi sports drama stars Ranveer Singh in the lead, playing Dev. “I am not so young anymore, someone has to take my place. The only thing that I know is if I can’t do that, let other people do the job. That’s okay,” Dev said.
Filmmaker Kabir Khan was also present at the event along with Shibasish Sarkar, who is one of the producers of 83.
Speaking about Kolkata’s connection to the 1983 World Cup, the makers said was that the event was photographed by photographer Srenik Sett, the only Indian photographer to cover all of India’s matches at the World Cup that year. As per Sett’s official website, “his record of the match against Zimbabwe at Royal Tunbridge Wells remains one of the only visual records of Kapil Dev’s monumental, 175-not-out innings.” Amer Patel will play the role of Sett in 83 and Sett’s photographs have also been featured in the film.
Since nobody had broadcast India’s historic win back in 1983, hundreds of eye witnesses and audience members have been interviewed for the film, the makers added.
Khan said that the journey of making 83 was special for him since the film involved extensive research and interviews to recreate the historic moment after almost four decades.
“I approached this with an approach that has been similar to my documentaries which is to do a lot of intense and exhaustive research and that’s why I enjoyed the process so much. I approached it like a journalist, I wanted to interview everybody, speak to them, get their view points, what had happened, get their witness accounts and that is what made the journey so enjoyable. To be able to get that mountain of information and make the script out of that,” he said.
Other actors portraying pivotal roles in 83 include Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Jiiva, Saqib Saleem, Jatin Sarna, Chirag Patil, Dinker Sharma, Nishant Dahiya, Harrdy Sandhu, Sahil Khattar, Ammy Virk, Adinath Kothare, Dhairya Karwa and R Badree.