Biopics in Bollywood have become a formula for success. These films offer an insight into the lives of some extraordinary people and I love witnessing a life worth remembering through the screens. Over the years, Bollywood has payed homage to several of these iconic people from real life through their work and now there is another addition to that list as Pratik Gandhi and Patralekhaa have come together for Phule.

Taking to social media this morning, Content Engineers & Dancing Shiva Productions announced their first association with Pratik and Patralekhaa, in the biopic of social activists and reformers Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule, who were far ahead of their time in their vision and approach. The Hindi feature film will be written and directed by the National Award-winning director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan.

Check out the announcement:

The first look of Phule has been released today on Mahatma Phule’s 195th birth anniversary, and the striking resemblance that both Pratik and Patralekhaa bear to Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule has just piqued my intrigue around the film. The activist-reformer couple had campaigned actively against untouchability and the caste system, founding the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society of Truth Seekers) demanding equal rights for the lower classes. Savitribai and Mahatma Phule were also the pioneers of women’s education.

Talking about his association with the project, an excited Pratik says,

“It’s a real honour to take Mahatma Phule’s legacy to the world. Phule is my first biographical film and even though the challenges are huge, given the fact that he was such an inspirational Indian leader; it’s also a dream role and I can’t wait to get started. I remember saying yes immediately after hearing the narration. Some characters just come to you and I am glad that Ananth sir came to me with this film. It’s wonderful that Content Engineers and Dancing Shiva have taken the responsibility of telling an unexplored part of Mahatma Jyotiba and Savitribai Phule’s life to the millennials.”

An equally elated Patralekhaa adds,

“I grew up in Shillong, Meghalaya, which boasts of a matriarchal society so gender equality is very close to my heart. Savitribai joined hands with her husband to start the first indigenously-run school for girls in Pune way back in 1848. Mahatma Phule also championed widow remarriage and together they set up an orphanage to prevent infanticide. This is one film that will stay with me long after it is over.”

The proud director Ananth shares,

“There are so many inspiring stories in our country that are still unknown or for some reasons kept under wraps by historians. Films are a great way to connect the younger generation to these unsung heroes. Jyotiba and Savitri Phule are the torchbearers of social revolution in India and I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and team that is backing this project.“

Phule is produced by Dr. Raj Kishor Khaware, Pranay Chokshi, Saurabh Varma, Utpaal Acharya, Anuya Chauhan Kudecha and Ritesh Kudecha, and is slated to release in 2023.

I have seen Pratik create magic on screen with his portrayal of Harshad Mehta in Scam 1992, and I am sure that with Phule too, he will bring alive the inspirational life of Mahatma Jyotirao Govindrao Phule. As for Patralekhaa, it has been a while since I last saw her on the big screen and I am sure she will mesmerise me yet again with her strong portrayal of Savitribai Phule in this one. To add to that, with a director like the National Award-winner Ananth behind it, this one will be for the ages, I am certain of that.