Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah’s scathing remarks about actor Farhan Akhtar’s depiction of athlete Milkha Singh in the biopic, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB), have left Akhtar’s supporters up-in-arms.
At a recent event, Shah had said, “It is (BMB) a completely fake film. Farhan has no doubt worked very hard, but building up muscles and growing your hair is not exactly working hard on your acting. At least he should have tried to look like Milkha. Milkha is mighty pleased by him and he imagines that this was his life, he imagined he looked like that. Doesn’t he have photographs of himself from 1960s Olympics?” While Farhan Akhtar has kept silent, his friends from the industry have slammed Naseer for the bitter remarks.
Trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “As long as Farhan played the role well, closely resembled Milkha Singh and the film made money, why should anything else matter?”
Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra says, “I have learned a lot from Naseer about acting because he was the hero in all the movies I assisted in. But here, I disagree with him. I think Farhan got the essence of the character right.” Trade expert Atul Mohan says, “I don’t think anybody else except Milkha Singh has the right to judge the authenticity of the characterisation. Naseer saab should refrain from commenting on the acting abilities of someone.”
Naseer had also said, “All the girls screamed for him (Farhan) when he appeared and so on, which is lovely. He looked terrific but he did not look like Milkha. It was just too fake a film. Yes, it was very beautifully shot which makes it technically an excellent film.”
Farhan’s family and co-stars from the film have also spoken out in his defence. Divya Dutta, who played Farhan’s sister in the biopic, says, “I adore Naseer ji, but I disagree with him here. I saw the film get standing ovation in the theatres. You can’t fool the audience. Farhan looked like Milkha in the film.” “It’s very undignified of Naseer. It’s a publicity stunt when his film is about to release,” says a source close to Farhan.
(IANS and Agencies)
Naseeruddin Shah will reprise his role as Khalujaan in the second installment of the series.