Thursday, 18 July 2013

Movie Review - Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

After Rang De Basanti and Delhi 6, much was expected of Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra's next flick and it hasn't disappointed. Rather, I'd say, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag surpassed it's hype.

But before I put my thoughts about the movie, let me say to them (movie critics) to KINDLY rise above the overly exaggerated approach of meticulously analysing a beautiful inspiration like BMB and tainting the efforts of an inspired filmmaker. Please!

Just how many of the Indian filmmakers choose to inspire than to mint?

When Milkha Singh himself watched the premier of the movie in London, he couldn't hide a tear. And that, to ROPM, was the true reward of his creation. It pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

Ok... the review... here it goes..

*** Spoiler Alert! ***

The storytelling
Despite the celebrity status of the Flying Sikh, I doubt whether many knew the lows and highs of his life. Movie's first challenge was to highlight the struggle of a boy to make good of his life, let alone to strive for being a national sports hero and the story did full justice to that. The depiction of how the boy, who was once reduced to a bum out of tragic circumstances, pulled himself together, believed to earn a life, fought, stumbled, muscled, ran and sprinted through the crests and troughs of a teenage life, and that too with a self-assuring smile, came out beautifully. The best part was how the protagonist's latent spirit of "fearlessness" gleamed through his condition of "helplessness" without being portrayed explicitly. The screenplay of a solo toddler sniffing off a herd of much older antagonists with just a stare felt so true and believable. Quite a memoir for me. I rarely clap in a multiplex (full of super civilised gentry) but at that moment I couldn't resist the uncalled-for-action-in-their-eyes.

The screenplay
The mix of flashback, present and flashback-in-a-flashback gelled well with the screenplay. It was never a confusing approach (except to them). Rather, the different strands of timeframes seemed a natural knit into a linear unraveling of intrigues and awes. The bit of VFX just added the right proportion of salt. The sword & horse nightmare scene needed support of the after-effects to induce a high tide of rage in the audience. I won't call it overly tech-dependent approach on part of the director. To make a classic masterpiece would come second to create a justified biopic in my books.

The Romance
Lately, the frequency of a romantic buildup in a rustic Indian landscape has caught more eyeballs than those in a concrete jungle. For an instance, recall the highly mischievous act of a shy Don furtively touching the hands of a female in The Gangs of Wasseypur 2. Another memoir. Such subtle instances induces more pheromones than by a three hour long romantic boredom. Really. Similarly, however short, the romance in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, has just enough material to compel a smile, a wry, an exchanged squint and a tear. (Well, the greatest romantic stories ever told have been tragic in end ). It not only had tips for the starters and the stalkers but also had pensive interpretations for the experienced professionals in the matter.

The Run
To make a sport based movie, wherein the sport involved is not cricket, is a herculean task in India. More so, when the sport is a mono-event type like sprinting. In that view, the movie pulled off the track-and-field scenes really well. Second only to the evident dedication of Farhan Akhtar in bringing out the different phases of the physical attributes of Milkha Singh, the thoughtfulness behind those shots was the biggest plus point of the movie. Every other such shot was different from the last and full of variations. Everywhere, it kept the audience engaged. It moved them in their seats, kept them abreast of the other runners' position while focussing on Milkha, made them feel short of breath at finishing lines, accelerated their heartbeat with high bpm soundtrack and even finished a whole running event without a thud or a mutter. It gave space for hungry-for-inspiration souls to connect to themselves. Right there, lies the beauty.

The Comedy
The inclusion of notoriety, wry humour and some standard punchlines in the convoluted timeline of the movie kept the audience adrift of an otherwise serious storytelling whenever needed. May be those vouching for a masterpiece-like creation would have asked the editor to truncate these portions, but for me, these jolly moments cemented the serious bricks well and weren't unnecessary. More than that, very subtly they gave us a very strong message of enjoying oneself even during the tough times.

The X-factor
The X-factor was revealed in the promo itself. The six packs, the strenuous training sequence with a heavy tyre tied at the waist, the Ladhakh scenes, the push-ups with a foreign babe on back had enough masala to attract the non-ardents in the cinema halls. But, in fact, the promo served to be a good impostor. The movie stumped me with with a more than expected solidity and originality.

The Realities
Few subtleties of human relations can only come out of a real life story. His sister's constant motherly affection, his first trainer's sweet scoldings, his sharing of punishment with the childhood friend, his childish revert to the second trainer during Asian Games, the stalking along the railway lines and his never-revealed feeling for the hottie in airline indeed fused reality in the drama.

The Verdict
I would not try to write the message of the story here otherwise we would go back to zero, that is equal to the driving force of a daily food for thought. One must watch and live the 185 minutes to etch his/her personalised take of the movie in the mind. To the young-at-heart-folks, if you have even an ounce of adrenaline flowing through your lymphs, then let it rush. Give yourself a chance to change gear and run. Give yourself a chance to fly like the Flying Sikh. Go and watch.

Jai Hind!


  1. Delly Belly was not directed by ROPM

  2. Oh yes, thanks for the correction. It's Delhi 6.

  3. I certainly agree to some points that you have discussed on this post. I appreciate that you have shared some reliable tips on this review.

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