Filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane has carved out quite a niche for himself through both his acclaimed theatrical films and hugely popular streaming series. As it was pointed out in a recent interview, he has worked with everyone from Sanjay Leela Bhansali to Vivek Agnihotri. He reflected on his collaboration with Agnihotri, who has since developed an outspoken public persona as a conservative voice.
Motwane said that the original script that he wrote with Anurag Kashyap for the film Goal, starring John Abraham and Arshad Warsi, remains close to his heart. But the final film wasn’t quite what he’d written. Asked how the collaboration came about, Motwane said with a laugh, “So, UTV was producing the film, and Vivek had approached them with this story idea that he wanted to do about football, and they said okay. But he wanted a really good writer, so they called up Anurag, and he said, ‘Look, I know nothing about football, but this guy (Motwane) knows everything about football.”
Motwane was then approached with the project, and was told what was required of him. But as someone who’d loved football since he was eight, he told them that he’d write an original script for them. Asked if he was given a DVD to watch, implying that they wanted to unofficially rip off a foreign film, Motwane said, “Something like that.”
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He continued, “So, I wrote it, and they were happy. The film got made, but not exactly in the way that Anurag and me wanted, to put it mildly. But it is what it is. At that time, it was like beggars can’t be choosers, you got paid for work. I still believe the original script of mine is one of the best things I’ve written. I loved it. I’m crazy about football, and for me, it was a big passion thing about a sport I’ve loved.”
Agnihotri is now best known as the director of the controversial film The Kashmir Files, which became a box office hit last year, but also drew strong criticism for its exploitative tone.
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