Abhishek Bachchan's showreel has boasted some impressive releases in the past few years, but it's his latest release, Ghoomer that has everyone talking. There's a lot riding on the sports drama directed by R Balki, which marks Abhishek's first release on the big screen since the pandemic.
Speaking to Draw Your Box at the film's world premiere at the Indian Film Festival Of Melbourne (IFFM) Opening Night, the 47-year-old said he's aware of the "pressure" for the Hindi-language movie to perform in cinemas. He just hopes viewers will appreciate the thought-provoking narrative about a cricketer who loses her right arm in a freak accident after she secures a spot in the Indian National Women's Cricket team.
"There’s always pressure," he said. "Whenever your work is up to be released, there’s always pressure. We just hope that the audience likes the film and I hope we’ve managed to make them proud and make a decent film."
Like many industries, the film business was undeniably impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many films going straight to streaming platforms instead of having a theatrical release. This was the case for Abhishek's movies Luda (2020) and Dasvi (2022) that premiered on Netflix, and The Big Bull (2021) on Disney+ Hotstar.
Also joining Abhishek on the red carpet at IFFM was co-star Saiyami Kher, who plays the lead Anina, a cricketer whose arm is amputated but refuses to let a freak accident define her and her sports career. Saiyami highlighted the significance in a storyline that zooms in on disability, saying "it's very important" to have these conversations on the screen.
"I feel it’s a big responsibility on my shoulders and I hope I’ve done justice to it," she told Draw Your Box of her performance in Ghoomer. "I’m very excited that we’re premiering here and I can’t wait for everyone to watch it."
Aiming to showcase a story about strength, determination and perseverance, Ghoomer hones in on both the struggles and triumphs of Anina, as well as Abhishek's character, Padam Singh Sodhi. Also known as Paddy, he's a failed and frustrated former cricketer who becomes Anina's coach, helping transform her fate so she can play for the Indian cricket team again, as a bowler.
Ghoomer is now screening in select cinemas in Australia, with information about session times available here.