“This year, there are three films made internationally on spiritual figures and one of them is from our country,” Pookutty says.
Russell Crowe-starring Noah and Son of God by Christopher Spencer have already set the box office on fire with their releases in March. Nanak Shah Fakir is expected to hit the screens later this year.
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After Pookutty decided to support the film, music composer Rahman followed suit.
The film’s original music is by Finnish musician Tuomas Kantelinen, who composed music for The Legend of Hercules. Uttam Singh and Pandit Jasraj have sung for the film, which is in Hindi.
For Delhi-based Sikka, Toronto will be the ideal place for a world premiere because of the huge presence of immigrants from Punjab.
Pookutty, who has also done sound design for the film, insists that the film has a wider appeal “because it deals with a social subject rather than a spiritual one”.
Computer graphics have been used to portray the character of Guru Nanak, whose face is never shown in the film.
Pookutty joined the film project after Sikka came to him on a recommendation from former head of National Film Archives of India P.K. Nair.
“I immediately understood the significance of a feature film on Guru Nanak today’s time,” Pookutty says.
“Especially when it is told through a Muslim fakir from Pakistan.”
While biopics are being made in quite a few numbers, Nanak Shah Fakir is one that stands out by quite a margin. This is the first time the story of Guru Nanak is being attempted to be told on the big screen and the makers have managed to keep it a rather hush affair so far. This movie has also generated some interest as it sees Oscar winning Resul Pookutty turn a producer. However we managed to get some information on the film from one of the lead actors, Adil Hussain.
Talking about the film Adil, known for his roles in movies such as Life of Pi, English Vinglish and Agent Vinod , says, “Nanak Shah Fakir is a very interesting film. It showcases Guru Nanak’s journey to finding peace. However since no one is allowed to play the character of Guru Nanak, the film does not show his face. The actor apparently plays the character of Rai Bhullar in film. “I play the character of Rai Bhullar. He is the man who dreamt that a great person is going to be born. He is a rich guy who takes care of his Guru Nanak when is born,” he informs. Along with the life of Guru Nanak, the film apparently also traces the evolution of Sikhism.
A distributor cut of Nanak Shah Fakir was also showcased at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival. Resul Pookutty is currently completing the sound design in his own studio. Reports also suggest that AR Rahman is involved with the background music of the film, which is being composed by Finnish composer Tuomas Kantelinen. The film also stars some other veteran actors like Tom Alter and Arif Zakaria.