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90 per cent of India does not agree with Naseer: Shabana Azmi

Actor Naseeruddin Shah’s remarks about actor Farhan Akhtar’s depiction of Olympian Milkha Singh in the biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB) has not gone down well with most people from the film industry -- including the actor’ family.

Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah
Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah

At a recent event, Shah had disapproved of Farhan’s performance in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s film.

Farhan Akhtar in 'Bhaag Milka Bhaag'
Farhan Akhtar in 'Bhaag Milka Bhaag'

“BMB is a completely fake film. Farhan has no doubt worked very hard, but building 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 pleased by him and he imagines that this was his life and he imagined he looked like that. Doesn’t he have photographs of himself from 1960s Olympics?” asked the veteran actor. While Farhan chose to keep silent, Shabana Azmi had something to say. “Naseer is entitled to his opinion but 90 per cent of India doesn’t agree with him.”

Most of those associated with the film are upset with Naseer’s remark. Prasoon Joshi, writer of BMB, says, “Although Naseersaab is entitled to his point of view, I don’t agree with him. I wrote the film with a common man in mind and the film has moved and connected with people at large and across segments.

It was not meant to be a documentary or a niche film. Farhan, in my opinion, has done really a great job in terms of the character that I’d written which deliberately had tones of fact and fiction.” 

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