ARR's New Project Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

By May 13, 2010 No Comments

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is working on one of his most ambitious projects – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – and says he wants to break linguistic barriers with the film on the greatest Indian athlete Milkha Singh so that the whole world will know his story.

“I want Milkha’s story told in Hindi-Punjabi, to be dubbed in French, Polish, etc. This would be my most ambitious project striving to break linguistic barriers. Milkha’s story has a universal resonance. It’s an Indian story but very universal. We want his story to go out to the world,” says Mehra. “The theme is – ‘zindagi se bhago nahin, zindagi ke saath bhago’. It’s very relevant to today’s life,” he adds. Mehra says he hasn’t finalised any actor to play the role of the legendary runner yet. Here are the few other things that he said…

Would all that be part of your film?
That’s what attracted me to the subject and not so much his athletics. Milkha Singh’s story was
inspiring. This guy had nothing and still he made a spectacular success of his life. His life has such a resonance.

Have you met Milkha Singh?
I’ve met him numerous times in Chandigarh, talked to him for hours. During our conversation, I opened doors for him that even he had closed. We got to know things even his family didn’t know. But I’d be depicting his life from age 13 to the age of 28. Milkha’s family has been very cooperative. It was Milkha Singh’s son, the champ golfer Jeev, who coordinated the whole thing.

Whom are you casting?
No idea. We’re starting the film end of this year or early next year. Any actor would kill for the part of Milkha Singh. This kind of a subject comes to an actor once during his lifetime. Not too many people are such role models. Even my Rang De Basanti was a bio-pic in a very strange way. But that was set in contemporary India. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag goes back in time. I might cast a big star or a newcomer. Let’s see.

Your films reflect socio-political reality – would your Milkha look like him?
The role is extremely demanding. Dramatically and psychologically more demanding than physically. The actor will have to go through a journey into darkness to emerge in the bright light. It’s a classic tale of struggle and triumph.

Your films have always been musicals. What about Bhaag Milkha Bhaag?
It’s a musical. AR Rahman is doing the music. I’ve met him, told him the subject. It’s a completely new territory for me. Rahman has travelled many universes. I want Milkha’s story to reach every part of the world.