Biopics are fast gaining popularity in Hindi movies and several conscientious film-makers are attempting movies based on the life events of iconic and distinguished personalities. THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH and BOSE: THE FORGOTTEN HERO won immense critical acclaim… PAAN SINGH TOMAR not only won critical and commercial success, but fetched the most prestigious honor as well — National Award… THE DIRTY PICTURE, on the life and times of an actress, too made waves… Another biopic on a sportsperson, Mary Kom, is currently taking shapeâ€¦ Biopics on gangsters have been attempted in the recent past… A biopic on the life of legendary singer Kishore Kumar is on the cards, while the one on the 19th century artist, Raja Ravi Varma [RANG RASIYA], is already complete. Expect many more in days to come. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s biopic BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG, based on the life of legendary athlete Milkha Singh, the country’s national treasure, is now ready for viewing.
A handful of films sprint that extra mile beyond providing meager entertainment to its spectators. BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG is one such cinematic experience. However, director Mehra and writer Prasoon Joshi encompass pertinent episodes/chapters from the icon’s life and create a film that makes you salute the sportsperson, besides evoking the spirit of nationalism in the spectator.
BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG chronicles the life of Indian sprinter Milkha Singh from his childhood to achieving the iconic standing. The film takes you back in time when Milkha lost his family members during the partition and his rise to the celebrated status without any prescribed guidance or monetary backing. The film also encapsulates his attachment to his sister [Divya Dutta] and the woman he gave his heart to [Sonam Kapoor]. Also depicted in this 3-hour+ film are the conquests, the lows, the rise to splendor and distinction, the skilful attainment…
The supremely talented director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and the proficient writer Prasoon Joshi amass the varied occurrences from the phenomenon’s life, although the focus is clearly on the documentation of Milkha’s illustrious career, his uphill struggle, impediments, apprehensions and eventual triumph. Besides staying true to Milkha’s life and conquests, Mehra and Joshi interweave a spellbinding screenplay that doesn’t limit it to being a mere sports-based film. In fact, the writer comes up with an incredible script that keeps you hooked from commencement to conclusion. There are a number of sequences that make you moist eyed, besides leaving an indelible impression. The sharp edit [P.S. Bharathi] and the electrifying background score further elevate the film to an exceptional level.
There’s no denying that Mehra has a ear for superior melody and the soundtrack of RANG DE BASANTI and DELHI 6 bear testimony to the fact. However, this time, Mehra opts for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. This one’s a plot-motivated movie; consequently, the songs cater more to the situations than creating a sound-rich album. Binod Pradhan’s cinematography is of international grade. He captures every beat, every tone, every nuance with mastery.
Hindi movies offer infrequent opportunities to actors to depict iconic and inspirational characters and Farhan gets the opportunity of portraying the most demanding role of his career so early in his acting vocation. Over the past few years, Farhan has progressively evolved into a superior actor, but he outshines himself — and also the spectator’s expectations — with BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. Farhan delivers an enchanting performance as the Flying Sikh, leaving the spectator awe-stuck in several sequences. His brilliant portrayal and meticulous interpretation of the character is sure to win him colossal admiration, approbation and respect from all quarters.
What’s noteworthy is the effort the actor has invested in looking the part. Right from his chiseled, athletic physique, the hair, the body language et al, Farhan has pushed himself beyond limits to illustrate the eminent and renowned character of Milkha Singh with precision. He leaves you astonished at varied stages and you can’t help but admire the hard slog, passion, commitment and earnestness of the actor. This is an unblemished, memorable performance that should find a strong nomination in the year’s best performances.
Milkha learnt some of life’s most crucial and critical tutorials from his senior, portrayed luminously by Pawan Malhotra. He inculcated valor and determination in Milkha to encounter the uphill struggles in life and I genuinely believe that any amount of admiration will not do adequate justice to the extraordinary depiction of this character by Pawan Malhotra. Cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s actor-father Yograj Singh, who has been an integral part of several films in the past, excels as Farhan’s coach. He is simply incredible here. Prakash Raj, cast in a positive role, is in fine form too.
Sonam puts her best foot forward as well. Although the character is brief, she shines in those pertinent moments nonetheless. Australian actress Rebecca Breeds has a pivotal part and the chemistry she shares with Farhan is super. Divya Dutta is simply outstanding as Farhan’s sister. An extraordinary actor, she handles the demanding part with flourish.
British actor Art Malik seems most appropriate in the role of Farhan’s father. Dalip Tahil [as Pandit Nehru], K.K. Raina [as Mr Wadhwa], Nawab Shah [as Coach Javed], Meesha Shafi [as Perizaad], Dev Gill [as Abdul Khaliq] and Shanta Kumar [as Gen. Ayub Khan] are wonderful in their respective parts. Jabtej Singh, as the young Milkha, is superb.
On the whole, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG is sure to win accolades, admiration, respect and esteem, besides emerging as a champ. Reserve the applause for Milkha Singh and the team behind BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. Give it a standing ovation!