Why Are We Against Bollywood Making Tun M’s Biopic?

  • 02 Jun 2018

Recently, news of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s biopic to be made in Bollywood created a stir online. The producer, Raman Kumar aged 73 who has already produced 10 films (including 5 films in Malaysia) released a statement saying that the film’s planned title is 'Malaysia's Saviour Mahathir'. It will be shot in Hindi and dubbed into Malay and English.

This is not right on so many levels. Why? The answer’s obvious. Firstly, Tun Mahathir is a Malaysian and who else can portray his life on-screen better than us Malaysians. 

Although the script will be written by a noted local journalist, M Krishnamoorthy, we believe that Tun M’s life story should come from a Malaysia-born filmmaker who saw and experienced his unprecedented rise, eventual fall and majestic return first-hand.

To further explore why we are against Bollywood making Tun M’s biopic, we asked ourselves a few questions:

What intrigued Bollywood producer Raman Kumar to make Tun M’s story into a film?

"I want to direct and produce this movie because Dr. Mahathir, at 92, has brought Malaysians together in what proved to be a victorious election (for him and his coalition). He's indeed a marvel of strength, will, and tenacity.” 

He idolises Tun Mahathir and wishes to be the first person to tell his story on-screen and never be forgotten for that. What a brilliant idea! Also, knowing that Malaysians love Tun M, he’s got his market ready to watch his film the moment it hits the theatres. In fact, his market is worldwide as Tun M is now the oldest serving state leader and very much respected in the international arena for his astounding achievements. 

Why none of the Malaysian filmmakers came forth to make Tun M’s biopic?

This is sad, but it’s understandable that many are afraid to take up this challenge. Tun M’s biopic is going to be a much harder project than it seems. It’s true that he is Malaysia’s modern-day hero and saviour. But, it’s also undeniable that at the centre of the downhill spiral Malaysia was heading to, his very ideologies and implementations were deeply embedded.

Now that Malaysians are all in awe of Tun M, none are ready, to tell the truth of the past as openly as before. It might be a backlash for their film career.

Will the script reflect only truth or glorify Tun M based on his recent achievements in uniting Malaysians and winning GE14?

Judging from the film title, we highly doubt it. 

According to the producer, ‘the film would focus on the political intrigues and how Mahathir used common sense, wisdom and 22-year experience as prime minister from 1981 to 2003, to campaign on an anti-corruption platform to helm the nation again.’

Malaysia’s Father of Modernisation is a blessing to all of us. He brought Malaysia to great heights in his time as the Prime Minister before. However, we can’t turn a blind eye to some of his actions that led to the current state of the country. One other thing that we can’t accept that the film will be made in Hindi. 

Despite all that we have mentioned, we still think there are a few advantages of this biopic being made in Bollywood:

1. This can be a great opportunity to see an outsider’s view of Tun M and Malaysia as a country
2. Bollywood is a much bigger industry and has a wider reach of audience
3. The producer has experience in producing Malaysian movies
4. The scriptwriter is a noted Malaysian journalist M Krishnamoorthy ‘who has a better understanding of Malaysian politics’

Now that you are here, take a look at Astro Ulagam's special dedication to Tun Mahathir:

What are your thoughts on this? Share with us!

Source: Bernama
Photo Credit: Says, iMoney, The Coverage & The Vocket

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