India-Forums

   

Milkha Singh's undying spirit drew me: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh's national records were not the prime attraction for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who has helmed "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", a movie on the legendary athlete's life. It was just his "undying spirit", says the film

Friday, February 22, 2013 | 1:56:09 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
 0 Comments | 881 Views | Copyright: IANS

Filmmaker rakeysh omprakash mehra'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh's national records were not the prime attraction for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who has helmed "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", a movie on the legendary athlete's life. It was just his "undying spirit", says the filmmaker.

"This is not a historical or a biopic in the sense that he was born here, he lived here and he married here. What really intrigued me was his undying spirit," Mehra told IANS in an interview.

"This boy, who came from a village and was an orphan at 11, actually witnessed the massacre of his family members, including his brothers and sisters. He picked a knife to survive at 11. He spent time in (Delhi's) Tihar Jail before he joined the army.

"He wanted respect and to be a human being against all odds. That's what a wonderful human being he is, and that's what got me into the movie, not the records he made. 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' is not about the athlete, it is about the spirit, and its interpretation," he added.

Mehra admits it has been a challenging affair - his "most challenging" as yet.

Milkha Singh, who once held the national record for the 200 metres and 400 metres, is best remembered for his fourth place finish in the 400 metres at the 1960 Rome Olympics. He won India's first international golds in 1958 at the Commonwealth Games (Cardiff) and Asian Games (Tokyo) - and a gold at the 1962 Asian Games (Jakarta). During his career, he won 77 of the 80 races he ran. So, will the film be inspiring for the audiences?

"No" said Mehra.

Filmmaker rakeysh omprakash mehra"Films are not meant to inspire. It is a happy accident if it inspires - at best! How do you make an inspiring film, I don't know!"

The biopic features actor Farhan Akhtar in the lead role and is slated for a July release. Milkha Singh agreed to share his life's story with Mehra for Re.1 - and gave Mehra much more than the filmmaker ever thought.

"He has been very kind. He (almost) adopted me for two years; so I lived in Chandigarh. I got to know him better and entered the dark corners which he had kept close even to his dear ones, children and wife. Prasoon Joshi wrote the script. I feel incredibly lucky to speak to the person about himself," said the filmmaker.

"It was like making a film on Mahatma Gandhi and speaking to him. Though Milkha Singh is not as universal as Gandhi, he is definitely Bharat Ratna material, I would say," the 49-year-old added.

Mehra, the brainchild behind films like "Rang De Basanti" and "Delhi-6", also said he was happy to get a free hand from his co-producers Viacom18 Motion Pictures to mount the film on the scale he wanted to - in a "so-called high budget," he said.

"I could have easily spent five times more, especially when I was making a film showing the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games! I had to rely on creativity to express it all in a budget, but having said that, in the current Indian scenario where budgets stand, I have been very lucky," he said.

"My co-producers Viacom have not just given me resources in the current market situation, they re-assesed and increased the resources by 30 percent when they saw the film's rushes. They said, 'We never thought this is the way you would mount it'. So it is fantastic to see that change is happening," he added.


User Rating Rating(0 Votes)
Share this News on your Social Network.

User Comments & Ratings

Join India Forums for free to comment on this story. Have an account already? Use Quick Login to comment.
Dear Readers,
  • Please do not use derogatory comments in reply to the stories published on Bollywood, India-Forums.
  • The credibility of the site matter to us, and the comments in bad taste tend to invariably hurt the actors/production house/channel etc.
  • So kindly, refrain from creating an unhealthy atmosphere for all, and keep your comments constructive.
  • Also, please use the Rate It button if you want to just thank the author for posting the story.

RELATED CELEBRITIES

RELATED MOVIES

  • Page 1 of 1

Bollywood Hot N' Happening Articles Index

Disclaimer: All Logos and Pictures of various Channels, Shows, Artistes, Media Houses, Companies, Brands etc. belong to their respective owners, and are used to merely visually identify the Channels, Shows, Companies, Brands, etc. to the viewer. Incase of any issue please contact the webmaster.

Popular Channels :
Star Plus | Zee TV | Sony TV | Colors TV | SAB TV | Life OK

Quick Links :
Top 100 TV Celebrities | Top 100 Bollywood Celebs | About Us | Contact Us | Advertise | Forum Index