MUMBAI: Oscar winning documentary March Of The Penguins will release in India on 13 March 2007 under the title Penguins – A Love Story.
Film star Amitabh Bachchan has done the voice-over for the Indian version in Hindi and English, which has been scripted by Anurag Kashyap. While the award winning American version had Morgan Freeman do the voice-over, the French producers of the original version titled The Emperor’s Journey were not too satisfied with the job and wanted it to be redone before its release in India.
“Finally, I have worked with Mr Bachchan and that is my Academy Award,” states Kashyap. “The Hollywood version has Morgan Freeman’s voice, which almost sounds like God’s voice talking about the lives of the penguins, whereas the French version sounded more intimate with a male and female voice. The Indian version is not like a typical documentary with narration. We have combined elements of these two versions and used one voiceover like the Hollywood version and borrowed the intimacy and warmth factor from the French version. Bachchan gets so involved that his narration sounds almost like he is with the penguins and tries to bring the audience closer to them as well.”
Kashyap says he had to undertake some research as well before writing the script for this documentary, which he addresses as a geographically challenging. The narration, estimated to be wound up in a couple of days, however took 10 days, he reveals, since it was not a typical documentary narration; it required him to bring in warmth and intimacy.
Kashyap adds, “Also so that Indian audience can relate better to this documentary based on penguins in Antarctica, we have also spoken about the tectonic plate movements, which led to the formation of India and Antarctica and correlated formation of Himalayas with the pole.”
The original French version The Emperors’ Journey has been directed by Luc Jacquet and has been shot in ice deserts of Antarctica over a period of seven years. It is a heartwarming story of the arduous journey that Penguins undertake each winter for the survival of their young ones.
The film has grossed over $200 million in the US. This will be the first French film to be commercially released in India.
Sunil Doshi masterminded the release of The Emperor’s Journey in India and is distributing it through Adlabs’ network. Kashyap’s and Doshi’s association goes back to Mixed Doubles, which was written and produced by them respectively.