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Monday, August 02, 2021

Put Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Rang De Basanti in a mixer, Toofan will come out of it: Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra

Farhan Akhtar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra are back with Toofan. The actor-director duo has collaborated for their second film after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which released 6 years ago.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi |
June 30, 2021 6:20:27 pm
Farhan AkhtarFarhan Akhtar plays the character of Aziz Ali aka Ajju Bhai in Toofan. (Photo: Amazon Prime Video/YouTube)

Director Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, actor Farhan Akhtar and producer Ritesh Sidhwani launched the trailer of Toofan on Wednesday via a virtual event. The film, which brings back the actor-director duo of Farhan and Rakeysh after their 2013 release Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, promises yet another hair-raising experience. Talking about the film, Rakyesh said that while people have been talking about how the film is yet another sports-drama from him, he had no clue about this sport before beginning the prep for it.

“I don’t know much about boxing. I haven’t followed the game. But while working on the film, I suddenly realised how this is a contact sport unlike cricket or even a sport like marathon on which Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was based on. You cannot fake it. The whole physicality and psychology world (that Farhan experienced while filming Toofan) is something one can write a book on,” he said. The filmmaker also tagged it as his “most challenging” project. “By far, it was the most challenging film. If I put Bhaag Milkha and Rang De Basanti in a mixer, Toofan will come out of it,” he concluded.

Agreeing with Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, Farhan spoke about how boxing needs more emotional and mental strength than the physical strength. “When we were growing up, we would watch boxing on screen or boxing in some film and get excited or fantasise about doing it someday. But when you train for it (in real), you realise that no matter how much endurance you have and physically fit you are, you are not prepared to take it on, especially with an attitude that hojayega (it is achievable). It is an extremely demanding sport because there is mental, physical and emotional aspect to it. It is like playing chess. You are constantly engaged. The fitness aspect shows on the screen but it is much more than what you see. It is more about what you feel inside than outside,” Farhan said.

He later added that while preparing for Toofan was difficult, it was exciting for him because “when you know you are working on something special, you automatically get ready for it.”

This is perhaps the first time when Farhan is playing a character like Ajju Bhai aka Aziz Ali. He said he had a lot of fun playing a typical Bollywood tapori on-screen. “I had wonderful time playing Ajju. We all are student of films. There are characters that you fantasise. I remember when I saw Aamir Khan in Rangeela, I thought it was very fun. It was such a carefree character. I relished playing Aziz. Working with Hussain Dalal was very helpful. He knew the lingo and the body language inside out. Other things were added to the character because of the style and, of course, Vijay Maurya’s dialogues, which made it a great experience,” Farhan concluded with a shoutout for people in Nagpara for being “so warm and hospitable.” “Every single door was open for us. It felt like we were shooting with friends,” he recalled.

When asked what message he wants the audience to take away from Toofan, Farhan said, “We all are guilty of labelling people or judging them. Toofan challenges that notion on a larger level.”

“When you try to read or know someone, it cannot be broad based. It cannot be generalised on the basis of their caste, religion or appearances. It is important to form an opinion of the person by knowing that person. An individual can reach his potential by breaking stereotypes with support of that one person who believes in you. Like how Ananya, Mrunal’s character, supports Ajju,” the actor signed off.

Toofan will stream on Amazon Prime Video from July 16 onwards.

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