As the trailer of the upcoming cricket documentary titled ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’ is unveiled, its creator and filmmaker Neeraj Pandey explained why instead of making a film, he opted for a non-fiction format to capture India’s historic win in the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.
Neeraj is already known for delivering a commercially successful film like ‘M.S. Dhoni’ based on the life journey of former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
During the interaction with media, Neeraj was asked why he decided to make a documentary instead of a film.
In answer to the question, Neeraj said to IANS, “I think it would have been wrong to recreate the miracle that has happened in the reality. The whole series of four Test matches was a huge sporting event of our recent time. I couldn’t have done any justice by recreating it on-screen. My focus was to document the contribution of all the 20 players throughout the tournament in an honest manner. So documentary was the best format for me to do that, not a film.”
While the director shared the process of weaving the story of the test series was quite an elaborate one, Neeraj mentioned, “We had the entire footage of every single innings and watching them ball by ball and what to keep, what to edit out was a different level of negotiation in mind.”
“Even though we were not focusing on dressing room footage, we captured everything that the players were going through emotionally and physically. As they said that ‘everything was going against us’. Then comes how to share the story in a storytelling manner.”
He further added, “That is when we decided to bring the captains of both the team, India and Australia. While everyone thought that India is out of the game, our players were celebrating a drawn match! That was a ray of hope! Eventually, when we sat for interviews with the players for our docu-series, and revisited the whole experience, the process felt almost healing for them.”
The four-part docu-series features all the key players of the series including Mohammed Siraj, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajikkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari among others alongside Australian captain Tim Paine.
Though the history of Indian cricket says how India is one of the cricket teams who always bounced back and won trophies and created history that includes winning the World Cup of 1983, Neeraj pointed out why this story was extraordinary by all means.
He said, “You know, more than often it happens that we say how the younger generation of cricketers are getting it easy than that of the previous generation. Opportunities are more these days maybe, but eventually, this was a fairly young team, that went through all the low points in the tournament and finally won the series! It is a mindblowing story!”
“They were fighting against the Australian team, in their country…they were doing the most impossible thing that one can think of! So for us, those conversations were incredible and I am sure it will be the same for every cricket lover out there,” Neeraj signed off.
The docu-series ‘Bandon Mein Tha Dum’ will be releasing on Voot Select on June 16.