Film: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Yograj Singh, Hikaru Ito, Art Malik, Divya Dutta, Prakash Raj, Rebecca Breeds, Pawan Malhotra

Jagran Rating:

History is created in several ways. One of them is cinema. And if Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" seems like a near-flawless homage to the flying spirit of India's greatest runner, it is partly because of the story, so nimbly woven into a pastiche of drama, emotion, humour and pathos by Prasoon Joshi, is in no hurry to keep pace with the onscreen Milkha's breathless sprint.

This isn't just a film about a sportsperson who brought untold glory to our country but the story of an individual's journey from nullity to pinnacles of success in a world where politics and violence are constant reminders of how little an individual's aspirations matter in the larger, often murkier scheme. Unlike other period films in the recent times which have conveniently and lazily resorted to antiques, artefacts and vintage songs, the 1950s in "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" simply and effortlessly emerges from the character and his milieu.

A victim of India's brutal partition, Milkha's story was waiting to be told. And thankfully, no one before Mehra saw cinematic potential in his story. If Milkha's story had to be told, the storyteller had to be a master craftsman, and one who doesn't waste space in self-congratulatory flourishes. With immense help from Prasoon Joshi, Mehra harnesses Milkha's life-story into an experience that is pure cinema and yet undiluted and uncompromised by the mandatory, often silly, illogical and idiotic semantics of mainstream commercial cinema.

Story line: ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is based on the life of legendary athlete Milkha Singh. The story talks about his perseverance as an athlete and also as a courageous human spirit. The name of the movie is inspired by the last words spoken by his father, which was to save his life during the partition riots. During the partition, Singh lost all his family members.


•    It is a biopic on legendary sprinter Milkha Singh
•    Pakistani actor Meesha Shafi is making her Bollywood debut with 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'
•    Sonam Kapoor charged only Rs11 for the film
•    Milkha Singh charged only Re 1 for his biopic

Music Review: The music of "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" has eight tracks, including a Gurbani rendition. While a lot of the songs are inclined towards fun and passion, the romantic tracks also manage to steal a bit of limelight in the album.

The album starts with a "Gurbani", soulfully rendered by Daler Mehndi to create a mood of peace."Zinda", sung by multiple singers like Suhas Sawant, Raman Mahadevan, Mani Mahadevan and Siddharth Mahadevan, has an inspiring passion and intensity. Javed Bashir has sung the next track "Mera Yaar" beautifully. "Maston ka jhund" has already become the favourite of many youngsters."Bhaag milkha bhaag", the title track of the movie, is a little disappointing. Even though the lyrics are very powerful, the regular pace of the song makes it a little uninteresting for the listener. The rock version of title track makes up for the missing element in the previous number. Sung by Siddharth Mahadevan, it is really hard-hitting and inspirational.If there is one song in the album, which can be termed as simply "amazing", it is "Slow motion angreza". The last track is "O Rangrez", which again has an ensemble of singers like Arshad Khan, Israj Khan, Tapas Roy, Vajid Ali, Yusuf Mohammed, Javed Bashir and Shreya Ghoshal contributing to the song.

Thumbs up: Farhan's body language and emotions and expression as Milkha is pitch-perfect. Farhan doesn't 'play' Milkha but he occupies Milkha's mind, body and soul.  There is a robust heartwarming romance between Milkha and the vessel-friendly 'kudi' Biro (Sonam Kapoor, looking prettier than ever). Farhan gets tremendous support from other actors, specially Divya Dutta, who is incomparably sincere in her role. Pavan Malhotra as Milkha's coach is as usual, first-rate.  The absolutely seamless editing by P Bharathi is impressive. The film is very stylishly cut, but not at the cost of losing the simplicity and the innate ascetism of the sportsman-hero. And yes, there are songs composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, but they are so effortlessly woven into Milkha's saga that we don't see them as "song breaks".

Thumbs down: Pakistani actress Meesha Shafi who is doing her Bollywood debut with the film has still to go a long way. There are some unwanted scenes in the film which make the narrative too long and may discourage the audience from remaining glued to the movie.

JPN/Agencies (Video Courtesy: Mid-Day)

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