Post Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Farhan Akhtar enters the A-list of solo heros
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Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB) is finally out there on the marquee for all to watch and draw inspiration from. There are two distinct inspirational threads that run through it — the first and the obvious one being athlete Milkha Singh's triumph against all odds and his ability to move on, despite setbacks and mistakes.
Milkha's story may have played out decades ago, but it remains no less relevant to the present generation. By weaving in the Partition nightmare, Milkha Singh's personal tragedy (that few may have been aware of), first-time writer Prasoon Joshi, and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra make the idea of Milkha Singh fly.
There may be some quibbles about the length, the repetition of similar shots and so on, but in bringing alive the story ofa forgotten sport star with a particular emphasis on the setbacks he faced in his life, or the temptations he overcame, Joshi and Mehra cleverly set Milkha up to be an even bigger hero off the racing track.
But, somewhat more interesting is that other story of overcoming odds and oneself, finely entwined with this cinematic story of Milkha Singh — that of its lead actor Farhan Akhtar. The son of noted scriptwriter/ lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, Farhan has often spoken about his idle days of youth when he had no idea about what he would do in life. There was a phase he went through when he only sat at home and watched movies until his concerned mother threw him out, insisting that he do something.
Well, after assisting Pankaj Parashar, Akhtar joined hands with friend Ritesh Sidhwani, started his very own production house Excel Entertainment and gave us a brilliant coming-of-age Dil Chahta Hai, one of the earliest Hindi films that could make the cut as "cool". In fact it made "being cool" cool in Hindi films, and thus spawned a whole new genre that could be loosely termed as 'Urban Cool'.