Rakeysh Mehra’s Milkha Singh to go global


MUMBAI: The world, feels the Rang De Basanti director Rakeysh Mehra is ready to take on Bollywood without the song-and-dance formula. Mehra, who is currently holidaying with his wife and children in Orlando, has now decided to make his biopic on the Indian sprinter Milkha Singh for a global audience.

It could be in two languages Hindi and English.

Speaking to Businessofcinema.com, Mehra says, “Perhaps the spoken language will be one, and that would be what Milka speaks in real life, Punjabi Hindi or English.But I’d like to make the film for a global audience.”

Mehra came to this conclusion while attending an international awards event in Toronto last week.

Mehra adds, “I realized that Indian cinema had finally come of age. There were representatives from many parts of the world and they were interested in every aspect of Indian cinema. In fact, we had a music session in Toronto on Hindi film songs with Javed Akhtar, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and it was crammed full, and not just with Indians. The session was to go on for just two hours. It stretched to four hours.”

Mehra feels a story like that of Milkha Singh is inspirational internationally. “I don’t think Milkha’s story should be restricted to an Indian audience. I want to take it far beyond. The language barrier in cinema is broken. We need to explore territories beyond our traditional domain.”

Milka will be played by a new actor who is currently being trained for the challenging part.

Another proof that Rakeysh Mehra got of the growing reach of Indian cinema was with the documentary The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, which Mehra helmed along with Shekhar Kapoor and Jeffrey Zambalist. It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The documentary will now be screened in North America. “Yes the documentary is going places,” says Mehra enthusiastically.