It is often said that cinema is aspirational, but there are times when it can be inspirational, too. Filmmaker Nikkhil Advani is all set to bring to screen one such inspiring story — that of Dr K Radhakrishnan, the former Chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and the man behind India's Mars mission aka Mangalyaan.
Ask him why he decided to make this film and Nikkhil, who has backed movies like 'Airlift', 'D-Day' and 'Lucknow Central' under his banner Emmay Entertainment, says, "After Airlift, we were discussing what to follow it up with. Then I saw this photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the scientists behind our Mars mission. The more I read about it, the more I was fascinated by the fact that we had sent the Mars Orbiter — the cheapest and the fastest version — successfully, and that too, in the very first attempt. Later, when I read Dr Radhakrishnan's book, 'My Odyssey', I knew I had to make this film."
The Padma Bhushan-awardee scientist was equally excited when Nikkhil approached him with the idea. "I wrote the book to share my life's experiences, especially with the younger generation," says Dr Radhakrishnan, adding, "I want them to know how a small-town boy reached this position and get motivated by the story. I faced several hardships, but overcame them all, as an individual. The book also has the story of ISRO in the background."
The most important aspect of Mangalyaan, he says, was "to show the country that something impossible is possible to achieve if we work collectively". The biopic will also show how Dr Radhakrishnan didn't let the failures of GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) satellites deter him from undertaking the Mars mission.