Friendship is a recurring theme in actor-director Farhan Akhtar’s films, right? He reveals that it was friends, who supported him during the painful time when his parents, Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, divorced around 25 years ago.
After his separation from child actor-turned-screenwriter Honey Irani, Farhan’s father, writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, married actor Shabana Azmi in 1984. Of course, Farhan has moved on since those days, but what lives with him is the love of his friends. “I have always found this relationship of friends very beautiful. It made a lot of sense to me when my sister, Zoya, told me that during our growing up years, friends played a very important part for us,” Farhan says.
He started his movie-making career by telling the story of three friends, Dil Chahta Hai, then he made his acting debut with another buddy story Rock On, and now his latest film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is again about bonding and camaraderie among three men. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara sees Farhan’s character indulging in a lot of ‘bromance’ with co-stars Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol. At the outset, the film highlights how people must let go of themselves to conquer their fears but parts of it also hint at how, beyond the adventures, fun moments, and naughtiness that boys share, they don’t mind sharing their emotional side with their best buddies.
The film, which released recently, has been receiving praise galore and has managed to earn INR286 million in the opening weekend. Farhan is “very happy and excited” about the way the movie has been received. “I have been hearing a lot of praise through my mom, my dad and Shabana (Azmi). People of all ages have watched the film and loved it – perhaps because whether you are 19 or 90, friends and friendship is something you would always identify with,” he said.
The young star is at his versatile best in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – he sings, dances and also shows his acting prowess in comic as well as serious scenes. He didn’t miss out on daredevilry as he indulged in deep sea diving, skydiving and a bull-run for the film. Even as he pushed his limits to perform these adventures, there isn’t any sport that Akhtar is fearful of in real life.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2011.