BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG chronicles the life of Indian sprinter Milkha Singh from his childhood to achieving the iconic standing.The film takes you back in time when Milkha lost his family members during the partition and his rise to the celebrated status without any prescribed guidance or monetary backing. The film also encapsulates his attachment to his sister [Divya Dutta] and the woman he gave his heart to [Sonam Kapoor]. Also depicted in this 3-hour+ film are the conquests, the lows, the rise to splendor and distinction, the skilful attainment.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who gave us Rang De Basanti, proves once again that he is a master story-teller with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. It is quite evident that a lot of research and hard work went behind bringing this story to the silver screen. The film has been shot well too and the scenes where Milkha trains for the races is sure to give you the kind of adrenaline rush that you got while watching Sly Stallone work out in the Rocky series.
However, as a biopic, the film has several flaws. Mehra seems to rely too much on melodrama, which is a drawback. Unlike Paan Singh Tomar, which told the gripping story of an athlete’s life and his struggles without too much of drama, thus keeping it life-like, Mehra turns Milkha into a larger-than-life figure, which somehow dilutes the effect. When Milkha runs atop a speeding train, he seems more like a swash-buckling 70s hero than a real-life figure.
Hindi movies offer infrequent opportunities to actors to depict iconic and inspirational characters and Farhan gets the opportunity of portraying the most demanding role of his career so early in his acting vocation. Over the past few years, Farhan has progressively evolved into a superior actor, but he outshines himself — and also the spectator’s expectations — with BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. Farhan delivers an enchanting performance as the Flying Sikh, leaving the spectator awe-stuck in several sequences. His brilliant portrayal and meticulous interpretation of the character is sure to win him colossal admiration, approbation and respect from all quarters.
What’s noteworthy is the effort the actor has invested in looking the part. Right from his chiseled, athletic physique, the hair, the body language et al, Farhan has pushed himself beyond limits to illustrate the eminent and renowned character of Milkha Singh with precision. He leaves you astonished at varied stages and you can’t help but admire the hard slog, passion, commitment and earnestness of the actor. This is an unblemished, memorable performance that should find a strong nomination in the year’s best performances.