Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – Film Review
Farhan’s flying Tribute to the Legend of Milkha Singh
Film: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
Producer: Viacom 18.
Director: Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra.
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Singh, Jabtej Singh, Divya Dutt, Pawan Malhotra,
Four years back an idea which germinated in Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra’s mind to create the biopic of an underachiever’s achievement in the field of sports, nowhere he had doubt that Milkha Singh who had seen those ups & downs in his life, right from partition, from being a refugee, to getting into petty thefts & such indulgences, before getting into army & from there on running for the country & making history had all the ingredients of a popular Hindi film extravaganza.
But never must have he realized that he would be able to make it a reality of sorts. His conviction of putting Farhan through the grill, & drill & getting him into the skin of never say die kind of full hardy, hard to crack characterization of Milkha Singh who had seen it all, done it all was no ordinary task.
Biopics are not easy to make & to stay true to the legend in question demands a lot of grit & determination & ample research & execution, to make it happen. Here I can say that Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra has come quite close to what he had planned to achieve. And take my word for it this only happened because of equally strong & motivated inputs from Farhan playing the main protagonist. For a guy at the age of 40 years, it is not easy to go through that back breaking one year of preparation to convert himself into an athlete to say the least with bulging sinewy biceps & six pack abs. To prepare for a character to this extent, gets you closer to the real character to such an extent, that the rest of the personification just becomes a cakewalk. And that is what Farhan has achieved, a near perfect of an impersonation of the legend called Milkha Singh.
Equally commendable is young Milkha Singh played by Jabtej Singh, who has put in a real spirited performance at his age. The Film encompasses the life of the national sprinter, Milkha Singh, born in 1935 in Muzaffargadh, now in today’s Pakistan, tracing the important years of his life right from the age of 12 years, when during the partition period he was witness to grueling murder & killings of his parents, brothers & sisters which kept on haunting even after years to come on.
He kept running & winning titles in the 200 meters & 400 meters sprint at Asian & later at the Common Wealth games. But could not continue his winning trail at Rome Olympics in 1960, which was heartbreaking but could not dampen his spirits, but on contrary made him more stronger in overcoming the demons of his past & proving his mettle against the arch rival Abdul Khalik of Pakistan in a friendly match organized to strengthen the Indo-Pak bilateral relations, as a result of which Pakistan General Ayub Khan confers the title of ‘Flying Sikh’- to Milkha Singh.
Sonam Kapoor has not much to do, but as and when she appears on the screen she is her effervescent self, and lends credo to her charming Persona. Pawan Malhotra & Divya Dutt as the sister Isri Kaur just excels in their very strong character portrayals. They evoke the kind of emotions which is a result of strong bonding, and they deliver it bang on! They are the backbone of Milkha’s journey to the top & their contribution in Milkhas life is given due credence. Prakash Raj & Yograj Singh does their job efficiently. Milkha’s close intimate and passionate moments with Australian blonde Stella Breed is indeed very touching and executed very aesthetically.
Camera work by Binod Pradhan is just pure visual delight from Flashback of Post Independence to today’s time. Excellent is the only word I can say. Prasoon Joshi’s writing reflects the long drawn research gone into the making of the legend & Lyrics evoke nostalgia of those partition times and thereafter. But the liberty that writer gets is not extended to the editor, who has done a good job, but could have cut down on Milkhas refugee day struggles of certain repetitive occurrences.
Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is quite adaptive to the period than & now. The Punjabi Flavor in the Bhangra number in the army barrack & later in Australia with the blonde babes is quite pulsating & upbeat.
The Background score has the required effect & gives boost to the drama & heightens the narration in the given situation. Full marks to all round musical contribution & the impact it is able to generate.
All in all its Farhan Akhtar’s journey as an actor fully accomplished in living the role of the Legend Milkha Singh with full integrity & passion & Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra’s dream fulfilled one can say.