Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and written by Prasoon Joshi the stunning indian film “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” starring Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Meesha Shafi, Yograj Kapoor, and Pawan Malhotra, hits theaters today. usedview.com had the opportunity to attend a special screening and panel with the film’s director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, this week in New York. You can check out our review of the film here.
Check out highlights from the press conference:
With Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra talked about creating a film that explores not just the life story of Milkha Singh, but who’s behind the man, what makes him, and how he is such an inspiration. Casting both young and old Milkha took some time with the younger one taking longer. Over 3,000 kids auditioned for young Milkha, and it was with a stroke of luck he found his young Milkha, who was the son of one of the crew members.
With Farhan Akhtar, he knew there was a huge amount of potential in him. Rakeysh approached him three years earlier for a part in an earlier film, but Farhan declined. When approaching Farhan for the role of Milkha, Rakeysh spoke to Farhan about Milkha, not about the script or the movie.
To get Farhan into shape for the role, he had to change his diet around as well as work out extensively and change his running style to model himself after Milkha. He started his training in September 2011 and the process carried on for about six to seven months. Until Rakeysh saw the transformation in Farhan with the running style and determination, he knew Farhan was ready.
Farhan then had to lose some of the weight to look the role of Milkha before he was a runner, which took three to four months. The focus in the last two months of filming was the emotional portion of Milkha, which was most important to Rakeysh. With young Milkha, he didn’t tell him how to act but instead he let the kid react to what was happening around him.
When researching Partition, he says that he still doesn’t understand the logic of it.
To understand Milkha, he wanted to focus on two questions:
“What does it take for a boy, who has no parents, who has no roof on his head, who has no food, no shoes to wear, what does it take for him to come away a champion?”
“What is it to lose the most important race in your life, but to win at life?”
When talking to Milkha, there would always be two things that brought tears to his eyes: discussing the massacre of his parents, and the dropping of the gold medal in Rome
Rakeysh when asked about the input from Milkha: “The input is his life.” When asked where he finds his connection in the film: “There is a Milkha Singh in all of us.”
“Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” is now playing.