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Harking back to the glory days

Danuska Da Gama

Rajesh Pednekar has always been sporty and active. And his built and personality has that zing as seen in the trailer of the upcoming Goan sports film ‘Glory’. Based on the team that won the 1993 Santosh Trophy for Goa, Pednekar plays the lead role of the tough and no nonsense coach Srinivas.

Said to be Goa’s first Konkani sports film, ‘Glory’, just like the sport that it is based on – football – is expected to keep the audience engrossed  through the action and drama that unfolds on screen.

And Pednekar who has played cricket in the past, representing Goa for the Ranji tournament states that unlike real life when he was a player and had to face the wrath of the coach, this time he used the wrath. “This film is inspired from true events. I am playing a coach of the Goa football team who is a disciplinarian and works towards creating unity among the players so as to perform as a team,” he says. His character, he states, may coincidentally relate to a person living or dead.

Production of the film took about 30 days, in Goa and Kolkata, and there was a lot of post production work that went into making this film. Set in the 90’s, for Pednekar too, it meant going back in time to essay the role of a lean and mean coach. “I had to work out to get back in shape, as for the previous film I had to put on weight. I worked out daily for two hours and the food intake was also regulated with a lot of changes,” he says.

As a coach who deals with different players, each having their own quirks and traits, it was also a complex process to go through different emotions and situations. “So working on the script, and creating a character graph was necessary for the role. Also, body language, voice modulation for each scene was planned beforehand,” he says. Having a solid background in sports (cricket) for 10 years however, meant that Pednekar could deal easily with such situations and pressures.

Being a sports film meant that high voltage football action was required to make it real and thus he says that concentration on the game as a player and coach was imperative, instead of paying attention to the shots. 

“An actor can get loud and overact when an action or sport film like this is being filmed because of the intensity the game demands. But, everything was in control, from acting to expression of emotions, as there was a lot of preparation of the character and for the scenes too,” Pednekar recalls, adding that the other actors like Salil Naik, Fermino, Saiesh Panandikar, Manoj Joshi, Brijesh Kakodkar and Sachin Surlakar made sure that everyone worked in unison to bring out the message of the film.

Even so, the making of the film required going through some hardships. Pednekar says that most of the scenes were shot outdoors, so shooting in hot sun, not only made the actors sweaty but it was also very tiring. “Being a regional film one cannot afford the facilities like Bollywood movies,” he says, before adding that the producer Durga Prasad was very supportive all through. Also, shooting a football match for a film with lots of variations is not easy and that demanded a lot from the actors and the technical team. Going back in time meant having a retro look, along with props, surroundings, etc which was quite difficult to source and arrange, he adds.

Happy with the final cut, and the buzz created in the state, Pednekar reiterates that there’s a lot of hard work that’s gone into the making of this Konkani sports film. While budgets are always a constraint, he points out that Durga Prasad hasn’t compromised when it came to spending money to make this film. “It was possible due to his love for Goa,” Pednekar says.

Goa is a budding film industry and unlike other states it is yet to reach a level. However, like everywhere else, no amount of hard work will bear fruit if a film doesn’t reach the people it is made for.  Speaking about the need for audience to support Goan made films Pednekar says: “It is difficult to produce a good Konkani film but it pays off when the audience comes to the theatre to watch the movie, appreciates it, and then spreads the good word.”

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