Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says it was heartening to see the response of kids to his last blockbuster ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’.
The 2013 film was a biopic on legendary athlete Milkha Singh, played by actor Farhan Akhtar on the big screen.
“What was gratifying that a lot of kids started watching it, lot of schools called us to arrange shows. We worked out a special plan for the schools in India where we could take kids to theatres for a no profit rate and it was kind of theatre to agree,” Mehra said at FICCI FRAMES event.
“The film connecting 6-12 year-olds was something that we had not dreamt about and when that happened it was wonderful. Kids have a knack of sensing things and it’s amazing,” he said.
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The movie chronicled the ace sprinter’s determination and courageous spirit to reach the zenith.
Considering, there were too many things to add in the film, Mehra was clear what he wanted to focus on.
“I remember when I first read the autobiography, I connected with partition of India, Milkha as a kid and his spirit for making a life and name for himself, losing Roman Olympics medal. These things caught me and we fixed an appointment with Milkhaji and spend three days with him and were moved by his story,” he added.
Farhan too was present at the event and he too was happy with the appreciation coming his way.
On what was harder – getting into the physique or imbibing the spirit of Milkha Singh, Farhan said, “The physical transformation is the physical manifestation of everything that the story is. You cannot pretend to be an athlete. I wanted people to sense it that I am this character and I am happy I achieved that.”
Farhan underwent extensive physical training for the role and when he first stepped out in the avatar of Milkha Singh to shoot, everyone was stunned.
The topic of discussion at FICCI FRAMES was ‘From Real-life Heroes to Reel-life Heroes: Biopics Inspiring Generations’.
Both Mehra and Farhan felt there are many great life stories or people on whom biopics should be made.
“The list is endless… one life is not enough to do justice. There will be so many Indian stories to be told to the world,” Mehra said.