I had been eagerly waiting for this one. There’s something about biopics that give you a kick, hard enough to bring some action in our otherwise mundane lives. Years ago, I saw I saw Chak De while preparing for CAT exam. Then came Paan Singh Tomar which left Mr. Hubby & me with a village dialect only the 2 of us could converse in! So, I was waiting with bated breath as to what Bhag Milkha Bhag would do to us. And it surely did. What? Well, you gotta read my take on the movie first.
Bhag Milkha Bhag is a sincere effort by the director to serve simple story of The heroic flying Sikh to the masala hungry audience. While on most occasions he has managed to weave emotions with rush of adrenaline moments, there are sequences which should have come under the scissor of the editor. Keep it short and sweet. But a Director who has doled out masterpiece like Rang De Basanti surely knows his act right. So just when you feel the movie is getting slow, the wisely chosen starcast pull it off with finesse. While Farhan Khan’s performance speaks for itself, watch out for power packed performance by Art Malik, Master Japtej Singh (who plays the young Milkha), Divya Dutta(plays Milkha’s sister) & Pavan Malhotra (who plays Milkha’s coach).
As the movie began with the 1960 Olympics and quickly got layered in flashbacks, I was hoping the Director would return with the sequence in the later half. But rather than sulking about the lost glory, the movie takes an optimistic turn and showcases the struggle of a man who lost everything yet had the grit to take on any challenge. Be it the challenge to survive in the 1947 rights, the challenge to outdo the reigning athletics champion or overcoming the inertia of the past to travel to Pakistan for friendly sports series.
While Mikha’s stint during the Army training leave you laughing, the brother sister moments are performed flawless enough to moist your eyes. The director making a guest appearance as captain of the aircraft reminded me of Subhash Ghai movies where he too used to appear 2-3 min guest appearances.
It in only after the interval that you start looking for something to keep you hooked on. But that’s how biopics are – not for the masses but the classes.
Sonam Kapoor plays the girl next door to the best of her bandwidth, which sadly is cut short to make way for the Australian girl Stella (Rebecca Breeds). The first song with Sonam-Farhan feels like a gush of fresh air however, from then onwards, their chemistry gets boring and you can’t help but wait helplessly for the next frame to save the movie.
I was super excited to see Meesha Shafi (of Coke Studio Pakistan fame) in a Bollywood movie. Alas, before I could understand what she was there to do, she was gone! We need some more dialogues next time Meesha!
Art Malik was a surprise package. Despite being a Pakistani British actor, he has done full justice to the role. One can make out that he is enjoying every scene to the fullest – the recipe for a perfect act!
Some scenes like the scene where Milkha wins a race despite being badly injured are signature Bollywood style. You know for sure they are there just to give our hero, some steroid dozes of super heroism! But when Prasoon Joshi has to tell a biography Bollywood style, you can expect melodrama here and there!
I loved the songs "Zinda", "Havan" and "Mera Yaar"(yet another masterpiece by Arif Lohar)
All in all a good movie sans the occasional drags. Don’t draw comparisons with serious cinema like Paan Singh tomar or you will be disappointed as this is Bollywood genre altogether. Go for it and get inspired by the real hero himself with his real stunts and real struggles!
As for the effect of the movie on Mr. Hubby & I, we took 4 full rounds around Lodi Garden (with some sprint as well!). That was some effect indeed!
And now for my favorite part from the movie –
No hero waale dialogues, the never say die Milkha Singh doesn’t know how to say no and accept defeat. And so when his coach challenges him to defeat the reigning champion, Milkha without a moment of hesitation or doubt, says “Aahoji!” (Punjabi for “yes”). The confidence in his voice yet the simplicity in his words make it a perfect scene (you will have to see the movie to understand the spirit)
3.5/5 from me.