Once in a while there comes a movie where you do not want to review it, analyze it and rate it. You only want to enjoy it and recommend it to others. Such movies stay with you for a long time. The last time I had such emotions for a movie was during ‘A Wednesday’ by Neeraj Pandey in 2008 featuring Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. I had the same feelings yesterday as I was watching ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB)’. It is a movie to watch, enjoy and get inspired by. The makers and everyone involved with the movie have done a tremendous job.
- Produced by – Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
- Directed by – Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
- Music by – Shankar Ehsaan Loy
- Cast – Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh
- The Plot – It is a movie based on the life and struggle of Milkha Singh. It is an adaptation of his autobiography – ‘The Race of My Life’. It is the story of the journey of a 12 year young boy undergoing the trauma of partition by losing his parents in 1947 to be crowned as the Flying Sikh by General Ayub Khan of Pakistan in 1960. I do not wish to get into the analysis of the story or plot. Let us just enjoy what we, the current generation get to know about the past, especially the story of a young boy who overcame difficulties to emerge successful in life. This story is not something you will read about in the history books or hear from your grandparents. It is a story that needed to be told. And I thank the makers for telling a story that is truly inspiring.
- Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra – Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has delivered a masterpiece yet again. Two of his movies are now on my all-time inspiring movies. Rang De Basanti (2006) and now BMB (2013). It must take a lot of imagination, efforts and hard work to create work than can inspire not just yourself but so many others.
- Farhan Akhtar – At no point during the movie, I felt there was an actor portraying Milkha Singh. It always felt that there was a young Milkha Singh in the movie. This performance is one of the best any actor can give while portraying a real life character and do justice to the person – his image and achievements. If you look at Farhan Akhtar in his normal self, it is difficult to believe that he can carry out the role of Milkha Singh. But he does that with so much conviction and impact, that you do not think of Farhan Akhtar at all while watching the movie. He has worked a lot on the character and it shows. He carries the entire three hour and 15 minute movie wonderfully. Hats Off to such a memorable performance. One of the best.
- Supporting Actors in the movie – All supporting actors do justice to the movie. Yograj Singh as coach Ranveer, Divya Dutta as elder sister Isri , Sonam Kapoor as Biro, Master Japtej Singh as young Milkha Singh and Pawan Malhotra as coach Gurudev have given it all to their small roles. Prakash Raj as the army ustaad, Rebecca Breeds as Stella and Dev Gill as Abdul Khaliq are wonderful cameos. All other supporting actors that emerge at different points add to the effect and impact of the story.
- The Songs – The songs gel nicely into the script. No song feels out of place. SEL have done a good job with the music and particularly with the inspiration tracks – Zinda and the title track. (1) Trailer (2) Havan Kund (3) Title Track and (4) Zinda
- Finally about Milkha Singh – Prior to watching the movie, I had very little information about Milkha Singh, a Padmashree awardee of India. After watching the movie and doing research, I now have a lot of respect, admiration and inspiration from Milkha Singh. He inspires you to overcome your physical and mental barriers. To me, Milkha Singh is the story of overcoming your own devils and emerging triumphant.
- Rating – This film is beyond ratings. No rating would do justice to wonderful depiction of the story and the life of Milkha Singh.
- The Inspiration – To me, this film is a story told to inspire people. Everyone goes through difficulties but what sets some apart is how they react to adversity. In the quest for success, one has to fight many battles in life – most importantly with the self to emerge a winner. I cite three scenes of the movie that show the struggle of Milkha Singh with himself.
- Milkha Singh while refusing the sexual advances of the swimming champion – “Main aapki insult nahi kar raha. Ye ladaai meri apne aap se hai”
- Pandit Nehru to Milkha Singh while convincing him to participate at the friendship games in Pakistan – “Tum is desh ke sipahi ho. Is desh ko tumhari zaroorat hai. Agar is jung me, tumhe apne aap se bhi ladaai karni pade, to karo”
- Milkha Singh to the Pakistan coach on being remarked “Ye tumhari zindagi ki aakhri race ho sakti hai” – “Bhagunga bhi waise hi”
Disclaimer – All opinions expressed above are personal and in no ways meant to criticize the efforts and hard work put in by the crew.
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