All the Osho followers out there. Be thrilled. A full-length feature film on Acharya Rajneesh, also known as Osho, is on the anvil. The script is being worked upon by noted scriptwriter Kamlesh Pandey who has given Bollywood blockbusters like Jalwa, Tezaab, Dil, Beta, Saudagar, Chaalbaaz, Rang De Basanti, Delhi-6 among many others along with Italian director Lakshen Sucamelu.
“We are still working on the script as we want the movie to be made at the level of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi,” shares Pandey who has been wanting to make the movie for almost a decade now.
Pandey informs that American actor-filmmaker Al Pacino was approached to play Osho and he had readily agreed too but things didn’t work out due to financial constraints. “We might connect with him again. The fact is that we can’t even pay his singing amount which is much less than what Bollywood stars are getting,” shares Pandey.
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai has agreed to be a presenter for the movie but he is neither directing or producing it. “We involved him as we thought his association with us will help us get funding required for the movie,” says Pandey. But it took some time convincing him. “I had to cite the example of Netflix documentary, Wild, Wild Country, on Rajneeshpuram and then he agreed,” he adds.
Himself an Osho follower, Pandey had met a number of producers but no one seemed interested. “There is an entire generation who has no clue about who Osho was and what he did. We want to let the world know he was a great visionary and let the awareness about ‘this God’s gift to India’ grow.”
“Osho wrote over 600 books. Besides, there are scores of audios and videos of his teachings. He was a spiritual leader much ahead of his times but a much misunderstood man,” says Pandey, adding, “He advocated what Buddha taught, that is, to know oneself one has to go deep inside. He believed in the concept of ‘new man’, no religion, no nationality, no label.
The movie, announced at the India Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, will be made in English for “global audience” and directed by Sucameli who co-wrote the script of Rang De Basanti (2006) with Pandey.
What about the budget? “It is sad that 90 per cent of films made these days are trash and that’s because there is no passion in film-making; films are being made only to make money,” shares Pandey. “As against that, we have only deep passion for the film we want to make… and the money will flow,” he trails off.