A mop of curls to “a more clean classic” look to a “stronger and sharper” one. Farhan Akhtar’s hairstyle as Aziz Ali in Toofaan adds to the character of a boxing champ, down and out by fate’s punches, but ready to bounce back. Avan Contractor, creative director, BBLUNT India, chatted with The Telegraph on putting the look together for the actor and other stars of the film and looks back at some of the iconic BBLUNT looks from Hindi films across two decades.
Toofaan is looking fantastic. Can you take us through the ideation process for Farhan Akhtar’s looks?
Farhan’s character Aziz Ali goes through quite a transition and it was important for that to come through in his look. I think the most instinctive ideation happens when reading the script and usually that’s what eventually materialises. However, there was some trial and elimination that happened. For example, for his Dongri look we started off with wanting his hair to be longer, to give his character a more rugged feel, so we had a play with extensions, though eventually we ditched the extensions and worked with his existing length to create a more local street feel. It was de-urbanising Farhan to create Aziz Ali that I found exciting and challenging. Then there is his more conventional look as Aziz the family man, which is a more a more clean classic. It then transitions into his Toofaan comeback look, which is stronger and sharper.
Were there any real-life inspirations for the look?
Yes definitely. I think with the characters in this film it’s very natural to draw inspiration from real life. It’s fascinating to observe people from the actual setting and take elements of their style and adapt it to a character.
Can you take us through the looks of the other key characters?
Mrunal’s (Thakur) character Ananya is a doctor and initially when we had planned her look it was a bit longer and she had already shot with that look for a day and just before she was starting her first big schedule, we were refreshing her haircut and we felt that her character needed to have easy fuss-free hair and we decided to take it shorter and I think that really supported the liberated youthfulness of her character and transitions into a longer length as she builds a life with Aziz.
Then there was Munna played by Hussain Dalal who we had a lot of fun with and was hugely inspired by the local street style, with the buzz line and an extreme disconnected top, which subtly also transitions as his character reforms. (For) Paresh Rawal, while it’s almost a buzz, (it) was intended to make his character feel a bit khadoos yet vulnerable.
Were there any inputs from Farhan?
Yes of course. It’s very important to have the actor’s input, because at the end of the day they are living that character so they have to feel the look to own it.
It’ll be 20 years of Dil Chahta Hai. How do you look back at the cult film today and what it did to hair becoming as much important an accessory as clothes?
It was Farhan’s vision of creating real urban characters and I feel very happy and grateful to have been part of that journey, as it created a whole new avenue for the hairdressing industry within Indian films.