Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – Movie Review
Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
Biopics are the flavour of the season it seems. Barely a fortnight after the magnum opus on Ritwik Ghatak’s life, here i was, sitting in the theatre, trepidation in heart, waiting for the eagerly-awaited movie of the year, based on the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh’s life. Although he won 77 of the 80 races he ran, he is known mostly for the 3 he didn’t – and that included the (in)famous Rome Olympics of 1960. As the race unfolded, with flashes back to Partition days, i sat back, expecting yet another cinematic marvel from Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Boy, i was wrong.
Binod Pradhan’s craftsmanship with the camera is fairly well-known to regular cine-goers. Deliverer of masterpieces like Taal or Rang De Basanti, the ace cinematographer breathes life into the screen with his various shades and unique angles. The vibrant use of colours in many scenes make for a great visual delight.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is Prasoon Joshi’s foray into screenplay-writing. Exceptionally well-conceived, the narrative moves back and forth in time – a style of storytelling that makes the otherwise dull movie a bit interesting.
The bane of the film, which could’ve become a classic, is the untimely interjections (and quite unnecessary too) of the song and dance sequences. Although the compositions are quite hum-able and catchy – the ones used as background score do not fail to lift the spirit of the narration – majorly, the interjections create a break in the narrative, thus blocking the flow of the story.
Coming from the director of Rang De Basanti and Delhi 6, the lack of conviction in the script is tad too disturbing. Despite extracting the best performances from the actors Rakeysh Mehra fails to leave any impression, solely because of the overtly Bollywoodised script that clouds the story of the man, slowly becoming a nuanced retelling of the pathos of Partition.
The shortcomings in the script and the direction were easily compensated by the actors who delievered some amazing performances. Farhan Akhtar lives his role and delivers a performance that we can relish for the days to come. Sonam Kapoor is refreshingly graceful in her small cameo (may be because she has just two lines of dialogue to deliver). Divya Dutta steals the show as Milkha’s sister – her love, concern and her own troubles beautifully depicted by her varied expressions.
Must mention Dalip Tahil here, who qualifies for the title of eyesore as Pt Nehru. Not only does he lack the physique of India’s first Prime Minister, but his lack of research into the body language and mannerisms of the man is too evident on screen to ignore. One is often reminded of Roshan Seth & Benjamin Gilani who immortalised the character on screen.
Bhaag Milkha Singh could have been a film telling the story of a man whose hard work, determination and zeal to succeed gave him an identity many would envy and admire. Instead, it ends up as an average Bollywood potboiler that simply narrates the story of a Partition survivor who makes it big. Cutting the flabs and focussing on the key strengths could’ve immortalised Milkha Singh’s name on screen. Milkha Singh is an inspiration whose name is enough to motivate generations. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag comes nowhere close to the enigmatic persona of the Flying Sikh.
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
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About Agnivo NiyogiTypical Aantel, reader, blogger, news addict, opinionated. Digital media enthusiast. Didi fanboi. Joy Bangla!
Posted on July 14, 2013, in film and tagged Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Bollywood, Delhi 6, Farhan Akhtar, Film Recommendation, Film Review, Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh, Prasoon Joshi, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Rang De Basanti. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.