Rakeysh Mehra: “Contrary to the perception, Mirza is not a period-film”

Rakeysh Mehra’s highly acclaimed movie ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was back in news when veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah in a recent interview, pulled up the film and said, “It’s a completely fake film. Farhan (Akhtar) has no doubt worked very hard but building up muscles and growing your hair is not exactly working hard on your acting,” adding that Milkha Singh didn’t even remotely looked as chiseled as Farhan Akhtar was made to, in the film.

However, the director is not perturbed. “While we were shooting at the JNU grounds in Delhi, Milkha Singh dropped by to meet me, as he was around the vicinity. Farhan was preparing for a shot inside a tent. Milkha walked in, and his jaw dropped. This was the first time the two met, and Milkha felt as if he was looking at his mirror image. What more can I say?” he puts forward his defence.

So, does he intend to mould Anil Kapoor’s son, Harshvardhan to fit the role of Mirza in somewhat similar fashion? “Not really. Contrary to the perception, Mirza is not a period-film. It’s set in the present.” And about Sahiban–Mirza’s tragic lover—Mehra is yet to find her. “It won’t be an established actress, but a relatively new face. I haven’t found Sahiban in any of our current actresses.”

Presently, the filmmaker is working on the script, one page a day. “I’m constantly writing. There are so many additions and deletions every day. It is lengthy and tedious, but an extremely fulfilling process. Write a bad page, but write. This is what I’d suggest everyone associated with this aspect of filmmaking.”

He reveals for the first time that Mirza will be a musical. “I intend to experiment with something that I haven’t in the past – elaborate song and dance numbers. Shankar Ehsaan and Loy have been roped in to compose the music. Not just that, Mirza will also boast of intricate action sequences — a zone he’s seldom ventured. “I cannot make an action film for the heck of it. My story should demand it. And Mirza does!”

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