Finally our film fraternity is awaking to the possibility of making films based on our sporting legends from the past and it indeed heralds an interesting episode in the film making history for India. Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra along with Prasoon Joshi have come together to make a film on flying Sikh aka Milkha Singh.
Though the initiative is somewhat late, it is a good step forward. It is interesting that Hollywood every year churns out movies based on sports as a theme, but in India the same is not repeated, though we tend to get inspired by Hollywood films.
Milkha Singh’s story is in fact a story of gut, sheer will, to perform against all odds, and it could be one of the most inspiring films, as far as addressing the question of perseverance against all odds is concerned. Indeed Milkha Singh’s story is a story from rags to riches and at a time when Indian Athletics is in a moribund state, it could be the shot in arm that athletics fraternity may have been searching for. The title of the film is BHAG MILKHA BHAG.
Though a film has already been made on Milkha Singh’s life, (it was made in 1970) and it has also been a part of the eight episode documentary, it is expected that a new interpretation would be given to his career when the likes of Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra and Prasoon Joshi have joined hands together to pay the tribute to one of the greatest sports persons India has ever produced.
An interesting sidelight of the film could be the career growth that Milkha Singh’s son, Jeev Milkha Singh has made as a golfer, and the reason why he chose golf as a career. It is timely intervention as sports as a genre has got a new lease of life thanks to the initiative of IPL and the interest of corporate houses to align their fortunes with sporting events in one form or the other.
It could also open the eyes of the parents in India to allowing their children to pursue sports as a career rather than force them into careers of engineering and medical sciences. The initiative by Joshi and Mehra is first of its kind where a sport other than cricket is being brought into focus by mainstream cinema. It in itself could be the catalysis for the parents of the country to allow their children to find their place in the sun on their own.
By: Suman Rai