It's almost a fortnight since the Farhan starrer "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" has hit the screens & though I wasnt keen to write this review as it's too late for one...a couple of my friends coaxed me to do so. The question that everyone has is whether this was indeed a befitting tribute to Milkha Singh, the greatest athlete that our country has produced. Well as always there are mixed reactions to it & this is how I felt about the film.
1960 Rome Olympics, the finalists of the 400m has been called out & the person who garnered the maximum cheer was Milkha Singh (Farhan Akhtar)...after all he was the one of the favourites to win the gold following his World Record performance a couple of months back. But alas... it was not to be & to this day India's search for an elusive Olympic athletic medal continues. A couple of months passes by, before Milkha Singh is summoned by Nehru (Dilip Tahil) to lead an athletic contingent to Pakistan on the invitation of Pakistan President General Ayub Khan. But Milkha Singh denies to take up the honour & the authorities seeks the help of his coach, Guruji (Pawan Malhotra) to coax him to take up the challenge. What subsequently follows is a brief peek into the making of Milkha Singh through the narration of Guruji.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is finally back after a hiatus of 4 years to calling the shots & must be hoping that he has churned out something far superior than the mediocre "Delhi 6". Well he has done a decent job with the help of Prasoon Joshi's writing skills...but it's nowhere near the benchmark that he had set with "Rang De Basanti". Most of the athletic sequences are grippingly shot which is amply supported by the BGM of Shankar Ehsaan Loy. However, an overdosage of melodramatic sequences & songs pretty much hampers the flow making it over run by almost half an hour.
There is just one word to describe Farhan Akhtar's performance...BRILLIANT!!! He has done an outstanding job of getting into the skin of the character & even chiseled his torso and mannerisms to be as similar as possible to the legend. In all probability, he will sweep all the awards unless someone comes up with an inspired performance in the latter half of this year. In addition, Divya Dutta, Pawan Malhotra & Yograj Singh (Yuvraj's dad) were equally impressive & has done total justice to their roles. Inspite of a small role, Sonam Kapoor also gets noticed.
Verdict: The film is far from perfect & there is no doubt that the length will act as a deterrent to many considering the fact that it doesnt necessarily add as much substance as expected. Though the box office collections arent as swift as the Flying Sikh, it's slowly gathering pace. Whatever it is, check it out for Farhan Akhtar!!!
As A Film It Is Overlong, Boring At Times, Badly Edited.But It Farhan Who Makes It Much Watchable.
So after sitting through over 3 hours of this melodramatic, generously spiced biopic of a sportsman who did our nation proud, I knew not much about his technique or tactics that have eluded our athletes for over six decades, thereafter. Instead there were inconsequential love stories filling the plot for much longer than they should have, a mystery that goes on for three hours even though you've guessed it in the first 30 seconds and a child's rogue behavior glorified more than it mattered in any way to the so-called story.
If you're going in for your money's worth, look no further. It's everything bollywood promises to offer with its big budget summer blockbusters. But it's not a sports film like 'Moneyball' or 'The Fighter'. Farhan has worked much harder than the industry demands and that's been flaunted for several minutes in the film. In my mind, a 20 something Milkha Singh would look more like a Kunal Kapoor from RDB, but maybe he was too tall for the role.
I have no doubt that the film will have a major presence at every award show next year for its guise of trying something new. I only hope the little boy who played young Milkha has a bright acting career ahead of him because he was effortlessly brilliant.