Aamir Khan's Dangal slammed by Geeta Phogat's former coach

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Aamir Khan's Dangal slammed by Geeta Phogat's former coach

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SportsCafe Desk

12/28/2016

Dangal-the latest biopic which is based on the life of wrestler Geeta Phogat, has angered her former coach PR Sondhi for potraying him as the villian in the movie. Meanwhile, the director of the film Nitesh Tiwari has defended the scene saying that the real event was modified to induce more drama.

Aamir Khan's latest starrer Dangal, which glorifies the life of wrestling coach Mahavir Phogat and his daughters, has been met with critical and financial success. But, on Wednesday, India's former women's wrestling team coach PR Sondhi, revealed that he was taken aback when he learnt that he was shown as the villian in the movie.

The climax shows that the jealous coach even went to the extent of getting Mahavir, the wrestler's father, locked up in a room while Babita was fighting her gold-medal bout against an Australian wrestler, so that he couldn't coach his daughter from the stands.

"I haven't seen the film, but people have told me about how I've been projected in it. I believe there's a disclaimer in the beginning that parts of the film are fictional, but I must say that this is an insult to the whole coaching community, not just me,” PR Sondhi, who coached the Indian women's team from 2009 to 2014 told TOI on Wednesday.

“If I find it objectionable, I'll discuss the issue with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), who hired me. I have nothing against Aamir, though. I met him in Ludhiana during the making of the film, and I'm sure that when he knows the reality, he'll feel sorry about this," he added.

Sondhi, who also coached Sushil Kumar to the bronze-medal finish at the Beijing Olympics, expressed surprise at being shown in such poor light since the scenes in the movie are a total opposite of what happened in real life.

"I've great relations with Mahavir and his daughters. In fact, I've been mentioned in a positive light by the journalists who've written books about them. I once helped Geeta, who had lost her passport at the last minute, make it to an international event. Mahavir never interfered with my coaching, as they've apparently shown in the film," explained Sondhi.

Speaking on a TV channel on Tuesday night, the film's director, Nitesh Tiwary, defended the controversial climax of the film, which sees Geeta clinching the CWG gold for India in the absence of her father. "We needed to dramatise it. Otherwise, how would the final have looked different from her semifinal and quarterfinal clash," he said.

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