Bollywood star Deepika Padukone says her next film, 83, not only recreates the euphoria of India’s historic cricket World Cup win in 1983, it also celebrates the women behind the scenes.
“For me it’s a story very close to my heart. I’ve seen my mother play the same role in my father’s life,” Padukone said at a press event to promote the film in Dubai on Thursday.
One of the most popular actresses in India, Padukone is the daughter of badminton champion Prakash Padukone, who was ranked World No 1 in 1980.
In 83, she plays Romi Bhatia, the wife of former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev, who is played by the star Ranveer Singh, Padukone’s real-life husband.
“[The film] honours the women who put their husbands and families before their own,” Padukone, who is also a producer of the film, said.
Both Padukone and Singh kept to the film’s era with their fashion choices on Thursday. She was in an all-red colourblocking outfit featuring a batwing uni dress and tights paired with a matching headband.
Singh stuck to his obsession with Gucci, wearing a glittering yellow number from the brand’s collaboration with Balenciaga, complete with accessories.
“This movie is for everyone, but if you’re a cricket fan, you’ll be on a whole trip,” Singh said. “We saw it for the first time with the audience in Jeddah, and I was overwhelmed by the response. We all had tears in our eyes in the end, including the audience.”
The stars attended 83’s world premiere in Jeddah at the Red Sea International Film Festival on Wednesday, which was also the event’s closing night.
Announced in 2017, production for 83 began in early 2019 and wrapped up later that year, only for the coronavirus to halt its anticipated release many times. Postponed at least three times as restrictions shut theatres across India, first in April 2020 and again in June this year, the sports drama will finally go into bat at the box office this month.
Director Kabir Khan said that in a country that lives and breathes cricket, recreating the match to the last detail was the easiest part of the movie.
“The real challenge was to recreate the euphoria and the emotion that an entire country felt that day in 1983,” he said. “It really is the story of the underdog and truly exemplifies the saying ‘If you can believe it, you can achieve it.'”
Khan joined Padukone and Singh later on Thursday to watch a special promotion of 83 on the facade of the Burj Khalifa.
83 is scheduled for release in the UAE on December 23.
Scroll through the gallery below for images from the world premiere of 83 at the Red Sea International Film Festival: