Soorma: Budget Breakdown and Box Office Predictions

Hockey players have seldom been the attention of Bollywood. Now that Soorma is about to immortalize hockey captain Sandeep Singh on screen, there is an anticipation brewing, especially after such positive reviews to its trailer.

By Neha Jha

Jul 7, 2018

The trailer, which came amidst all the hype surrounding Sanju and Dhadak, has already clocked more than 6.5 million views on YouTube. Releasing on July 13, the film has been made on a budget of ₹32 Crores. That is higher than the budget of Chak De India, the last film which revolved around hockey.


Biopics are not new in Bollywood. But, probably, no other trailer of a biopic impressed audience and critics alike as much as Soorma. After all, films made on hockey are rare to come by. The last film revolving around the game came in 2007 with Shimit Amin’s Chak De India which was largely a fictional story. Soorma, on the other hand, is based on a living hockey player who has been to hell and back.


Watch The Power-packed trailer here:



The film, written and directed by Shaad Ali tells the not-so-famous story of hockey captain Sandeep Singh who was paralyzed and had to be confined to a wheelchair for two years before he got back on his feet and then proved his mettle by making a comeback to international hockey and leading the Indian Hockey Team to win the 2009 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and also qualify for the 2012 Olympics.


So, why did the makers wait six years for the story to unfold?


Turns out, Shaad Ali had framed the idea of the film before his last film ‘OK Jaanu’ hit the theatres. Chitrangada Singh, who turns a producer with the film, had no idea about Sandeep Singh’s accident prior to meeting him. Once she got to know, she could not let such an inspirational story slip. But, let’s not forget, making a film about a living person is difficult. I mean, you can have the facts getting disputed at any time. Yes, biopics are the trend these days (Sanju’s success proved it better than anything else), but they do involve a lot of white-washing and fictionalization of events.


What usually goes into the making of biopics of living legends, like Soorma? Let’s delve deeper into it.


The Cast


Soorma stars Diljit Dosanjh and Taapsee Pannu in lead roles. The movie also stars Angad Bedi as Bikramjeet Singh, Sandeep’s brother and a hockey coach, who trains Sandeep for international hockey. Soorma is this fascinating story of a man who had to fight back the pain an accidental gunshot wound inflicted on him while he was traveling by train to join the World Cup team, paralyzing him from the waist down. Sandeep Singh was more inclined towards having Diljit Dosanjh play him on screen right from the beginning. The makers had Ranveer Singh in mind who had to refuse the film citing unavailability of dates. Taapsee Pannu, who plays a hockey player as well as Diljit’s love interest Harpreet Singh in the film, was also not the first choice. She came in after Ileana D’ Cruz refused the role. Well, that made things fall into place since Taapsee has a sports background and is a Sardarni. That apart, Soorma stars TV actor Siddharth Shukla, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pitobash Tripathy and Vijay Raaz.



Image Credit © Google Images

Since the film is a content-driven one, we expect the fee of the cast would be anywhere around 15-20% of the budget of the film. Diljit Dosanjh charges anywhere between ₹1-2 Crores. Going by that, and considering the amount of work the character required him to do, we predict it to be close to ₹3 Crores. The same goes for Taapsee Pannu as well.


Pre-production


The screenplay and dialogues of Soorma have been written by Suyash Trivedi, Shaad Ali and Siva Ananth. It goes unsaid that such a film would require immense research as well as inputs from the person who has battled the torture meted out to him for no fault of his. Perhaps that made Sandeep Singh go on and on about his journey for a good two hours while the makers were expecting a narration of 15-20 minutes!



Image Credit © Google Images

The production rights were purchased by Chitrangada Singh in 2014. She collaborated with Sony Pictures Network in 2017 and Diljit Dosanjh was roped in after Ranveer Singh’s refusal. Though Dosanjh was not convinced and had refused multiple times, the makers were convinced he was suitable for the role owing to him being a Sardarji himself. Diljit was extremely apprehensive to play the role of a hockey player which would require him to work exceedingly hard and also appear as equally convincing as a hockey player. In an interview to IANS, he said, “I told the producers to cast me in any film for free but not to cast me in a hockey-based film.”


Production



Image Credit © Google Images

The major portions of the film were shot at Shahabad, the hometown of Sandeep Singh and a lot of Hockey Players. The shooting commenced there in November 2017 and then the production team moved on to Chandigarh in December. In order to train the lead actors in hockey, Sandeep Singh and Bikramjeet Singh were roped in. Both the brothers choreographed the hockey match sequences, parts of which moved to Belgrade in Serbia where they shot for 10 days. The film is a joint collaboration of Chitrangada Singh and Deepak Singh with Sony Pictures Networks and CS Films and distribution by Sony Pictures Releasing. We take the production to be anywhere around ₹15 Crores.


Post Production


The film has been edited by Farooq Hundekar who has edited films like Shaitan, Tum Bin 2 and Ek Thi Daayan. All of these films were average hits with the exception of Ek Thi Daayan which had some pretty good VFX. From the looks of the trailer, the film seems to be an amalgamation of the serious, somber as well as the fun side of a young lad aspiring to be a hockey player, his journey, and the fall just before the rise. The poster itself looks extremely inspiring and original.



Image Credit © Google Images

Advertising and Publicity


Making a film on a hockey player comes with its own set of risks considering the lack of media frenzy surrounding hockey in the country. The story of Sandeep Singh, by and large, remains unknown pan India. The trailer received a lot of critical acclaims as well as great audience reaction with more than 6.5 million views and 100% positive reactions. The film releases next month but the promotions have begun, considering both Diljit Dosanjh and Taapsee Pannu have garnered a huge fan base. The two have been promoting the film at upscale locations in Mumbai.


Box office Predictions



Image Credit © Google Images

This year Bollywood is gonna see a slew of biopics. While Raju Hirani’s Sanju based on the life of actor Sanjay Dutt was successful at the box office, we have Akshay Kumar’s sports biopic ‘Gold’ set to release on Independence Day. Soorma is also one among the list, though unlike the other two, it’s not a star-driven film. The movie’s success will depend on its content and the performance of the actors. Diljit Dosanjh’s fan following in Punjab will give it an edge. We expect the film to be a successful one. The Indian audience seems to have become receptive to good content. With sound marketing and an engaging content, coupled with music of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, a huge footfall is expected at the theatres.

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