Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Review: Farhan Akhtar

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is one of those rare filmmakers who refuse to take the easy route. He always takes up the most thorny subjects and effuses it with humanity and jingoism. After delivering the disappointing Delhi 6, he is back after 4.5 years with the life story of one of India’s greatest athletes – Milkha Singh. Biopics about long forgotten Indian sportspersons have become a trend recently after Paan Singh Tomar worked. Now biopics about Kasaba Jadhav, Dhyanchand and Mary Kom have been lined up just to name a few. Farhan Akhtar devoted almost two years to BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. Let’s see then if his dedication was justified or not.

Story: As we all know by now, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG is Milkha Singh’s (played by Farhan Akhtar) story. The film is a journey of the 10 year old Milkha from being a lively jolly Punjabi kid to being one of India’s greatest sporting icons. Milkha’s story is as tragic as it is hopeful. Having lost almost all of his family in the partition, he reached the zenith of Sports by his sheer dedication and motivation to make his country proud. There are many other incidents and relationships of Milkha Singh’s life which have found place in BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. His tryst with an Australian girl, his relationship with his coach, his love affair with his village Belle Nirmal (Sonam Kapoor), his landing up in jail, his relationship with his sister Isri (Divya Datta).

Bhaag Milkha BhaagBhaag Milkha Bhaag Movie Review

Writing and Direction: Prasoon Joshi has written a larger-than-life script and Rakeysh has done full justice to the screenplay. It will be a oversight for anyone to classify BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG just as a Sports film, because it is much much more than that. It brings to light one of the most tragic moments of Indian history – the partition. It gives the viewer a sense of nationalism that only a story as inspiring as Milkha Singh’s can grant you. Not to forget, it is also a period film. Inspite of dealing with so many incidents and trajectories, none of the story points feel out of place. They all come together seamlessly to make for a rare movie watching experience. I had only one grouse with the screenplay – they could have shortened the length of the film to 150 minutes by not dwelling on a few chapters of his life for too long. Still, I wasn’t bored.

Miscellaneous: The technical aspects of BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG are top notch because the producers haven’t spared to spend money wherever required. The cinematography, the editing, the production design, the costume design and the music all come together to make Milkha Singh’s life grander than it probably was in real life. Cinematographer Binod Pradhan proves he is one of the world’s foremost cinematographers with his astute work in BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG.

Music and Background Score: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have delivered a very suitable soundtrack for the film. None of the songs are sore, and the melody is soothing. A few songs do stick with you. Zinda is already a big hit but even the non-Hit songs like Maston Ka Jhund and Slow Motion Angreza never feel out of place in the film. The title track probably could have had a lot more punch but again, like other aspects of the film, it works. Can you imagine Milkha Singh dancing arbitrarily? No. Do the songs and the dance sequences feel out of place in BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG? Again, no.

Acting: BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG is that rare Hindi film where the lead actor has given his all into a career-defining role. Farhan Akhtar takes method acting to the limit and then breaks the limit. He breathes life into Milkha Singh and after a point it becomes hard to imagine than Farhan Akhtar is just an actor playing the role of Milkha Singh whilst the original Milkha Singh is someone else. He is THAT good. Japtej Singh playing the young Milkha is sensational as he portrays the pathos of losing one’s family vividly. Sonam Kapoor doesn’t have much to do in BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG and she plays the subdued Nirmal rather well. Pawan Malhotra gives a great performance, as usual. Divya Datta is perfect as Isri and I see her getting more than a few supporting actress nominations for this performance. Prakash Raj finally doesn’t play a villain – and he does it just fine. Yograj Singh is a revelation as Milkha’s coach. Rebecca Breeds’ performance is genuine.

Conclusion: BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG works on the basis on Milkha Singh’s truly inspirational life story and the writer and director have done well not to mess it up. The viewer will go through a truly human experience of tragedy, romance, comedy, drama and even a bit of action! The film has it all. It should be seen by every Indian who is reeling from the scams, rapes and political disappointments. BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG will make even the cynics’ hearts brim with emotion, nationalism and inspiration.

Box Office Potential: The film will take an above average opening. Unlike last week’s Lootera which failed to make a mark because of its slow pace and highly evolved style of filmmaking, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG will work because the story is universal and we Indians are highly emotional people. BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG panders to the deepest emotional core of our humanity.

Positives:

  • Inspirational Story which is universal in its appeal
  • Farhan Akhtar’s career defining performance
  • The writing never loses pace and doesn’t slack off
  • The cinematography
  • The production design
  • The music and Background score
  • The performance by tertiary actors

Negatives:

  • The 190 minutes length may put off a few people
  • Some incidents of Milkha’s life are a bit overstretched
Rating: ★★★½☆
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14 Comments

  • I am going to watch it, i like farhan as an actor and i loved the songs, i didnt love the fact that sonam was the lead actress but after your review and after what u said about her part i feel that she is only 2 min part :D , thats great for the movie and for me too




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  • once a director came to salman with a wish of making a sport based movie with him…..
    salman after reading the script- “arre, my fans wont like this movie & moreover playing this kind of characters requires acting, so i will suggest u to go to srk or to someone who tries something new. but if u have a south indian remake script, i will be more than happy to work with u provided there are enough item numbers from the top actresses.”




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  • Watched and really liked the movie. But it was a bit too long for my liking. Farhan Akhtar has delivered an outstanding performance. Hats off this him and his dedication.




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  • Bollywood 2013 is great
    BMB is gem …
    Thank god salman is not coming this year ..
    Otherwise he will deliver some craps




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  • @beingsallufan: You hypocrite !!!!! what Salman had to do with BMB? just praise Farhan work there is no need bring salman or your fake king. Salman rocks in whatever he does unlike boring n coma filled JTHJ sessions.




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  • Most of the guys out here haven’t seen the movie, but just praising for the heck of it.

    @ beingsallu….you got it wrong brother….yes salman did reject this movie, but there is one small mistake in what you said or heard….he said if you want some overacting, please approach shahrukh, or farhan will do it just fine.

    hehehe :)

    last week by chance got to see JTHJ…….and seeing over the top acting by srk for a few minutes, wriggled by a$$ out of the place….phew! that was a lucky escape, it was too close…..and i heard someone said he defuses some bombs in the movie……now i understand, the bombs could not stand his sugarcoated over the hill non-stop god knows why smiling and got defused itself.

    tsk tsk tsk!!!!!




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  • @jc
    my fellow sallu fan, u r as dumb as me( being a salman fan), so u r nt competent enough to pass any judgement on acting….
    but anway our bhai rocks with his acting, i still remember that scene from wanted where his father was dead and he came running towards him…..his comic timing was damn accurate & i laughed like anything….bhai rox!!!




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  • saw it last night, interesting script, best performance by Farhan Akhtar, funny scenes, just enjoyed it.. the only negative is the (length).. I think that it wasn’t necessary to show to the audience Milka’s childhood story, the director could’ve edited those scenes to make the movie just 2hrs and 45 minutes, i/o 3.08 minutes in length.. Sonam was not in the main role and any other actresses could’ve played her role. But even though.. it was a long movie, but I didn’t get bored.. it’s just that u need little break to contnue watching.




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  • @beingwhatever,

    Did i ever tell Salman is a great actor?

    Thanx for watching Wanted though, as none of you srk fans can forget the movie that started the rise of salman and the sliding and finally downfall of srk.




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