Free Press Journal

Prasoon Joshi’s climax

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The screenplay writer of the successful biopic on Milkha Singh discloses the logic behind his choices

Prasoon Joshi, the screenplay writer for ‘Bhaagh Milkha Bhaagh’ seemed to be in jubilant mood while celebrating the success of the movie at a recent party.

On being asked why he stretched the excitement of the finale, he clarifies, “Climax had to be happening and so I kept the excitement going. Look, I was not writing for a documentary film so I had to keep the entertainment value intact,” and adds, “I wanted people to feel the emotions of a small boy who had to face so many difficulties and thereafter made bid in the sports field. I took forward the story with the boy’s perspective. The life story of this boy had to make people share his emotions in terms of crying, laughing and sharing the caring moments along with him.”
When being questioned about the length of the film, he replies, “I have grown up reading books about the pains and agonies of the people that people suffered during the partition. People are watching my film, in spite of it being three and half hours in length. I wanted to make an intriguing climax. I did write two climaxes but finally I decided to keep Pakistan portion in the end.” And on a low-key note he adds about the release of the film in Pakistan, “Well, I am not aware of the fact whether the film releases in Pakistan. Of late there has been some talks with Viacom 18 with regards a Pakistan release.”
Sharing a few pointers about why he chose to depict the bond of a sister over the brothers of the sprinter, he shares, “Whenever you pen a script you have to lay down the script in the most straight forward manner. I chose to write the Milkha Singh’s story from the middle of his lifetime. I could have made a mention of his brother too, but somehow I felt the emotions of sister would strike a chord with the female population as well as the general audiences.”
Talking about the experience of working with the director, he says, “While I share a very long as well as a close relationship with Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, he gave me full freedom. You know while a person has faith in your thought process fully he will give you all the freedom and so the outcome is brilliant.”
Shedding the perfect mix that made it a successful film, he shares, “A film based on Sport has allured not only the Indians but the international audiences too merely because the entertainment value rules the hearts of the audiences,” and adds, “All this has been possible because I took the first step i.e. my homework done while choosing the portions of Milkha Singh’s life very carefully. I also took enough care with perfecting the screenplay with efficiently written dialogues. The trust that Rakyesh also vested in me enabled me to give my best.”
‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and with actor Farhan Akhtar playing the athlete brings the spirit of sportsmanship to the celluloid successfully.

 Lipika Varma