Cronje film captures fall from grace

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Hansie Cronje's brother is in Mumbai to shoot for the film called Hansie the cricketer.

Updated: November 02, 2007 15:25 IST
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The match fixing scandal in cricket will be refreshed in public memory very shortly, thanks to a forthcoming film.

Former South African skipper Hansie Cronje's brother is in Mumbai to shoot for the film called Hansie the cricketer.

And unlike other sports movies that deal with the zero to hero concept, this one will be the opposite - of a much loved cricketer and his fall from grace after he admitted to taking money to fix matches.

"I was telling Hansie for a long time that we should make a movie on his life. There is a lot to learn. But he said that the story is not yet finished. And then he died two years later," said Franz Cronje, Hansie's brother and film producer.

It's not been an easy task for Franz as he relives his memories through the film. He's in India to shoot Hansie's involvement with bookies - a link that finally led to his fall from grace.

"I think the toughest was the King Commission, because we shot it in the same place. And I remember when he broke down there. I couldn't control myself and cried. The other was the funeral scene. My parents were there as well. That was very difficult," said Hansie's brother.

The film begins with Hansie at the peak of his cricketing career, moves to his eclipse from cricket and then on to his attempts at regain his life - an attempt that ended with his death in a plane crash.

Frank Rutenbach, who plays Hansie in the film says he can never forget the day the scandal first hit the headlines.

"When I first saw it in the papers I couldn't believe it. I was like No ways! Not Hansie, then three days later I saw his confession on TV," said Rutenbach.

Interestingly the film's not his only connection to the late cricketer. As kids, the two played cricket in his backyard.

"He definitely betrayed our country. A hero is someone who is invincible. He can do things, which you can't and so when he does something wrong and you haven't done it, you feel ripped off. But this movie is not about vindication. Its about redemption," said Rutenbach.

Franz hopes that the audience will leave cinema halls with more than just the image of a fallen hero.

"This movie is about taking responsibility and also there will be consequences for what you will do. He made a mistake and should have been given a second chance," he said.

The film is expected to hit the screens by September next year and the Indian face to it is actor Rajit Kapoor, who plays the role of a bookie don.

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