What is it all about?
Steeped in ethnic pride Bhaag Milha Bhaag is a sprightly, lovingly researched, thrilling, inspiring and highly motivating account of Milkha Singh - India's greatest champion athlete popularly known as the flying Sikh.. produced by Viacom 18 and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra..
MIlkha Singh - this living legend ran against all odds, ran from an ordinary soldier to a great sprinter, ran for life, 'milk' and made his way into Indian sports most inspiring hall of fames, 'Bhaag Milka Bhaag' is about the undying spirit of sportsmanship, patriotisms, and survival during the early 40's till the early 60's of India.
Rakesh Mehra weaves a rare cinematic gem of a portrait in this historical biopic of this living legend. 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' does what a gem of a biopic should do.. It tells an inspiring story while bringing the past to life and succeeds in illuminating issues that persist today. . Sheer brilliance..
We had movies on the life of politicians, movies based on sports, we also had Paan Singh Tomar the story of the great Indian athlete who turned bandit.. the movie won top accolades..
Prasoon Joshi after Delhi 6 teams up with Rakeysh Mehra to pen the script of this enterprise and does a marvelous job.. Prasoon skillfully tells us this tale of this Indian sprinter and his journey from a small village in Pakistan before partition to India after the partition, Miklha's zest for survival, his historic achievements and his love for his motherland.. all this is said in an absorbing screen play which starts from Milkha's 1960's summer Olympics race goes back to tell us how and for what reason he started running and ends where he got the title of The Flying Sikh' and in between the writer makes you glued to your seat while tracing Milha's journey from childhood to his early days in Indian Army to the friendly Indo Pak race... in between we are introduced to his mother figure in sister Divya Dutta his first love Sonam Kapoor, the horror of partition, fear of loss and the joy of achievement.. very well done.
What to look out for
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's talent is unquestionable and after the disappointment of Delhi-6 Rakeysh Mehra strikes back with a Vow!.. his dealings and shot takings are stamp of a supreme talent.. right from the first frame when we are introduced to Milkha.. we are promised of something unique coming our way and it does in the end.. by the time the end credit of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag rolls in against the backdrop of the original legends real images.. Rakeysh Mehra succeeds in doing the invincible.. the image, the movie and the reality make for a perfect fit... Rakeysh redefines Milkha in the film where the legendary champion athlete becomes a genuine, all-around hero. Rakeysh Mehra in his previous achievements like Rang De Basanti, Delhi 6, was accused of not giving a satisfactory climax but here he just masters his acts and satisfies the audience to the core who by now are already in awe of the legend.. there is detailing, study and it shows... makes good use of the stock shots making it look realistic.. the cars, phone, bikes, all in sync of the era..
Binod Pradhan's camerawork is just amazing.. P.S. Bharathi editing is up to mark... production values are of high standards.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy music rises to the occasion powered by some wonderful lyrics by Prasoon.. 'Zinda' and the title track pumps the beat on and off the screen. The background score is in sync.
Farhan Akhtar - we have loved him as the lively urban in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.. here in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag this actor runs spirited miles in his acting grounds and comes as a winner... Farhan in this tough, demanding and challenging role gives whatever he could have and the result is superb. Before the release there where talks of his tremendous hard work to get the body toned for the role.... After the film there will be talks of his 'body' of work in the film... outstanding performance his best till date.
Sonam Kapoor is striking and does it so naturally that the audience are bound to fall in love with her performance..
Divya Dutta is so spontaneous and natural it seems like this lady is a born actor.
Pawan Malhotra is brilliant.. Yograj Singh (Cricketer Yuvraj Singh's actor-father) as Milka's coach is good. Prakash Raj entertains. Australian actress Rebecca Breeds is fine. Art Malik is fantastic. Dalip Tahil as Jawaharlal Nehru is fair, K.K. Raina, Nawab Shah (Pakistani coach) do their job with honesty.
Jabtej Singh who plays Junior MIlkha is a bundle of talent.
The length might be an issue and the romantic angle seems to be a bit stretched...
Conclusion: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a valuable, historic, resonant, gem of a moment in Indian cinema.. this biopic does so much - it informs, inspire and also entertains in its due course.. Whether you like running or not but do make sure you run, walk, jump, jog to your nearest theatre to witness this amazingly inspiring story of India's living legend Milkha Singh (The Flying Sikh)... the man who made running his religion.. pure gold.