Friday, July 19, 2013

My take on : Movie : Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

The sad irony with the biopic "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag", on the legendary Indian sprinter, Milkha Singh, is that unlike its subject, it is very slow and tiring.
Milkha's struggle, his speed, his life is filmed for more length than the patience of current 2hrs movie audience.
And that is why even though you are mesmerized with the eventful life of Milkha, you can't help notice people around you getting uncomfortable in their seats in second half. A better editing could have helped.

But let me be very honest, despite its length, I wasn't bored at all. The film is really entertaining, and more than that inspiring.

The story unfolds in a complex flashback structure, showing Milkha's reputation, struggle, training in army, troubled childhood and coming of ages years affected by partition in alternate fashion.

The biggest strength of this movie is the life of Milkha Singh, and performance of Farhan Akhtar. He has given complete dedication towards his act, and justice to the character.

The supporting cast is equally brilliant with Pawan Malhotra as Milkha's Army Coach Gurudev Singh, Yograj Singh (Yuvraj Singh's father) as his national coach Ranveer Singh, Divya Dutta as his elder and loving sister Isri Kaur, and Sonam Kapoor (very lovely screen presence) as his love interest in youth.

The script penned by a well known lyricist Prasoon Joshi, is emotionally moving, but uses some age old cliches. And those are the few moments when you notice that this could be just Hindi film treatment, and not real life. Some not so needed song sequences add to the length of the movie unnecessarily. A flashback narrated by coaches of Milkha, to a government official who is keen to convince Milkha to go to Pakistan for sport event, is childish. A reason as why Milkha is declining to go, which could be told in a few sentences, is used as a suspense, which is not a suspense at all.

But as I have read some interviews of the BMB team, and Milkha Singh, his real life really was like a film. His family being killed in riots, and his father asking him to run are true events. "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" were really last words of his father. When one gets to know such emotional facts, he can easily understand the naturally dramatic nature of the movie, and appreciate it.

With the superb direction and perfect act by Farhan, all these flaws are compensated. Because its more of inspiration than entertainment that keeps you seated for 3 hours. I was inspired by both Milkha Singh, and Farhan Akhtar.

My Rating : ****