Farhan Akhtar: Think about direction every time I finish a film
Uma Ramasubraniam for Mid Day
It39s presumably a bittersweet feeling when a film you39ve lived with for one-and-a-half years reaches its culmination. As Farhan Akhtar39s journey with Toofaan nears its end, with the sports drama dropping on Amazon Prime Video this weekend, the actor is grateful that director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra chose him to front it. "I have idolised Muhammad Ali as a sportsperson and a human being. We grew up at a time when Mike Tyson was a reigning champion. Boxing, as a sport, has also influenced my psyche. So, to do a film that is a part of this world is exciting,' begins Akhtar, who plays a thug who discovers his true potential when he steps in a boxing ring.39Toofaan39, also starring Paresh Rawal and Mrunal Thakur, is a product of Akhtar39s determination and dedication he trained for months to pick up the sport. How hard is it then to have your labour of love judged by the audience? "You have to be prepared when you are in a public sphere, and the work that you do is for public consumption. There is a part of you that has to understand critique when it comes your way. That said, there is a fine line where a critique can go from being about your work to becoming about you. So, you start valuing the opinions of people who you know mean well.' With social media becoming the deciding factor of a film39s fate, he says artistes have to take the bouquets and brickbats in their stride. "You have to focus on telling a story as job,' he reasons.The mind behind gems such as Dil Chahta Hai 2001 and Lakshya 2004, Akhtar put his directorial ambitions on hold to focus on his acting career in the past decade. Now, rumours suggest he is gearing up to helm the third instalment of Don. Akhtar remains evasive about the subject of his next as he says, "I think about direction every time I finish [acting in] a film. Hopefully, in the near future, I will direct [a movie].'
Which National-Award winning performance by Shabana Azmi is your favourite?