Farhan Akhtar’s cinematic portrayal of sprint icon Milkha Singh in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is widely regarded, amongst fans and critiques alike, as one of the best acting performances of all time. The film earned several accolades and received an overwhelming response upon its release. In a recent interview with news agency PTI, late Milkha Singh had shared his experience watching his life story brought to the big screen.
“I enjoyed watching ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ very much," he had said. Many such sports films should be made so that the upcoming generation draws inspiration from the sportspersons of our country, win medals at Olympics and Asian Games, and make India proud."
Singh had credited Mehra, a former swimmer, for his ability to translate the “pain of being a sportsperson" on screen. After Singh’s son, professional golfer Jeev Milkha Singh watched the director’s 2006 acclaimed hit Rang De Basanti, he decided that rights to his father’s story should only be given to Mehra.
“Rakeysh was once a top swimmer in the country. That is why he is able to make such films," the ‘Flying Sikh’ added. Singh did not watch many films post the ’60s.
“That was the time of Raj Kapoor, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, and Noor Jehan. I didn’t watch a film after the 1960s. I have no idea who all were the good heroes, directors or producers in the ’80s. The only film I watched after all those years was my own film (‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’)."