Farhan Akhtar’s Toofaan has been talk of the town since its release but even before it premiered on Amazon Prime Video, the one thing that kept the film in the news was Farhan’s transformation as a boxer. Farhan plays Ajju aka Aziz, who becomes famous as Toofaan in the boxing ring. The film traces journey of Farhan’s character and shows some exciting and well-choreographed boxing sequences. But the body transformation was not a cake walk for Farhan. On Monday, the actor shared a picture revealing how he transformed to play Ajju, Aziz and Toofan.
“The many shapes and sizes of Ajju aka Aziz aka Toofaan. What a ride. 18 months of relentless work but worth every drop of sweat, every sore muscle and every pound gained and lost,” Farhan wrote along with the picture post.
He credited sports physiotherapist Anand Kumar, former kickboxing champion and coach Drew Neal and fitness trainer Samir Jaura for the transformation. In fact, Farhan termed the three as “the stars behind the scenes.”
As soon as Farhan shared the post, Hrithik Roshan praised Farhan in the comment section. “Man! 69 to 85? That’s insane,” wrote the actor. Siddhant Chaturvedi, Anusha Dandekar, Karan Tacker and others also posted comments in praise of Farhan.
During the trailer launch of Toofaan, Farhan spoke about how boxing needs more emotional and mental strength than the physical strength. “When we were growing up, we would watch boxing on screen or boxing in some film and get excited or fantasise about doing it someday. But when you train for it (in real), you realise that no matter how much endurance you have and physically fit you are, you are not prepared to take it on, especially with an attitude that hojayega (it is achievable). It is an extremely demanding sport because there is mental, physical and emotional aspect to it. It is like playing chess. You are constantly engaged. The fitness aspect shows on the screen but it is much more than what you see. It is more about what you feel inside than outside,” Farhan said.
In an interview with indianexpress.com, Darrell Foster, the celebrity trainer who helped Farhan on the boxing sequences in the film, praised the actor. “I was impressed with his humility and his professionalism, his attitude that I’m going to be an open book and like a blank canvas,” he said, adding, “I’ve got to put Farhan up there with Will Smith.”
Right after the film’s release, Shah Rukh Khan was one of the firsts to share his reaction on Toofaan.
Taking to Twitter, Shah Rukh wrote, “Wish my friends @FarOutAkhtar @RakeyshOmMehra the best for their labour of love. I had the privilege to see it a few days back. Extremely fine performances by @SirPareshRawal (wow!) @mohanagashe @mrunal0801 @hussainthelal.” The actor also added that he wishes more movies like Toofaan to be made as he wrote, “My review: we shld all try & make more films like Toofaan.”
The Indian Express’ film critic Shubhra Gupta also praised the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directorial. The film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.