Everyone loves everything about Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB). The only area of quibble was its inordinate length of over three hours. Now that has been taken care of. In the international version of the film which is now being readied, the playing-time of BMG has been reduced by 30 mins.
Since there are no clearly demarcated areas in the narration that could be pruned down, and the songs carried the plot forward, Rakeysh and his film-editor PS Bharathi went through the entire process of looking through the footage to zero-in on individual shots and scenes where the verbal exchanges could be reduced.
It was a challenging task but now the job is done.
The decision comes as a surprise considering Rakeysh maintained the story had to be told within the time-frame afforded by the script. Says Rakeysh, “Bharathi and I haven’t forced cuts into the narration.
We wanted to bring the length down to a no-interval format, since there is no tradition of breaking a film into two halves in the west. To eliminate the interval-point for the international version we had edit the film.” Rakeysh aims to do away with the Indian ritual of having an interval for every film.