The sports drama film ‘Toolsidas Junior’, which is based against the backdrop of snooker, traces the real life story of director Mridul Mahendra.
It also unravels the emotional story of his childhood bond with his father. The roles of Mridul and his father have been essayed by Varun Buddhadev and late actor Rajiv Kapoor, respectively.
Elaborating on the same, Mridul shared, “Snooker has been a very pivotal part of my life, especially because of the memories it beholds with my father. ‘Toolsidas Junior’ depicts one of the most cherished parts of my life. I fought hard to bring my father glory back then and I wanted to do the same by making Toolsidas Junior.
Basing the story on his own life, Mridul presented the film as an ode to his father and had desired to arrange a special screening of the film for his real father and Rajiv Kapoor. However, as fate would have it, both his father and Rajiv Kapoor passed away in the same year before the release of the film.
“When the film was almost ready, I had decided to arrange a special preview of the film for my father with Rajiv Kapoor sir, as he plays my father’s character on screen. Unfortunately, Rajiv sir left us in February last year and soon after that, even my father passed away. However, they both did see the final cut individually before they left us. I’m glad both their memories will live forever in the form of ‘Toolsidas Junior’”, the director further shared.
Set in Kolkata, Toolsidas Junior presents the story of a snooker champion played by Rajiv Kapoor who succumbs to alcohol resulting in his inability to win the trophy. Determined to shine his family name on the winner’s board, his son, Toolsidas Junior undertakes special coaching under former Indian champion played by Sanjay Dutt to bag the trophy at the snooker championship.
Commenting on how he was taken by surprise once he came to know the roots of the story, ‘Lagaan’ director Ashutosh Gowariker, who has produced ‘Toolsidas Junior’, said, “When Mridul came to me with the script, I didn’t know it was his story, I only felt it was a film I wanted to make.”
“The raw and relatable emotions of Midi’s story found a place in my heart and when I learnt it was Mridul’s own journey, I could realise why the honesty and heart in it felt so pure. We often say cinema is a reflection of society, Toolsidas Junior definitely mirrors reality in the most appealing manner”, he added.
Presented by Gulshan Kumar and T-Series, ‘Toolsidas Junior’ has been produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Ashutosh Gowariker and Sunita Gowariker.
The film, which also stars Sanjay Dutt, marks Rajiv Kapoor’s final role and posthumous appearance following his death in February 2021. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.