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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and other Bollywood films that goofed-up with facts

Samarth Goyal , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 30, 2013
First Published: 17:37 IST(30/7/2013) | Last Updated: 12:07 IST(31/7/2013)

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a sure shot blockbuster, and the film’s many goof-ups are only making it more popular. The Farhan Akhtar starrer has nearly nine bloopers as presented by IMDB (Internet Movie Database), and this isn’t the only new movie set in another era that has factual errors from history.

Goof-ups include the use of the current flag of South Africa rather than the Apartheid-era South African national flag which was used during the time depicted in the film (1950s), and Farhan singing the song Nanha munna rahi hoon while wooing Sonam Kapoor, when the song was released in 1962.

And this isn’t the only new film with research errors. Special 26, Himmatwala, Kai Po Che, The Attacks of 26/11 and Shootout at Wadala, as pointed out by bloggers and keen critics, are full of such erroneous instances.

Experts say that social media is making audiences more observant. “If you are making period films, you have to make sure that your research is foolproof, because viewers today will go on the internet and find out about it. And if there is something wrong, they will point it out,” says trade analyst Atul Mohan. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt adds, “If someone specially takes out time to find flaws in someone’s iconic films, why deny such a person a chance of telling that filmmaker, ‘there is something I know that you don’t know?’ However, such criticism will only help filmmakers to do better research in future.”

On the other hand, industry expert Komal Nahta defends the makers. “Only 10% of the audience finds fault. And they have absolutely no effect on the box-office. They are all small lapses and are understandable,” he justifies.The filmmakers in question were failed to comment.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
When Milkha is released from jail in the 1950s, the year written on the form is 2013
The film shows electronic railway signals
Milkha rides a 2012 model motorbike
Milkha wears a baseball cap with a Velcro strip. Velcro was introduced in 1960s
The climax race (1960s) is at “Qadafi Stadium”, in words of the announcer. The Lahore Stadium wasn’t renamed as Qadafi Stadium until 1974.

Shootout at Wadala
In 1982, Manya Surve wears a vest brand launched in 2010
In the final shootout, policemen are armed with 6-shot revolvers. No one is seen reloading and more than six shots are fired.

Himmatwala
The movie begins in 1983, but features a cut-out of Tom Cruise-starrer Top Gun, which released in 1986.

Special 26
Anupam Kher boards a train in the WDP-4B class in the 80s, but it was introduced in 2010
The cities are addressed as Chennai and Mumbai
The Tamil film ‘Baasha’, which is quoted in the film, released in 1995.

The Attacks of 26/11
When terrorists attack Cafe Leopold in 2008, the car shown parked outside was not launched in India until Sept 2011.

Kai Po Che
During the 2002 riots, people are watching a news channel that was launched in 2003.
Untimely car number-plates
Five-digit train nos. instead of four, as was the norm
Use of cellphone models that were launched later.

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