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  • Nikhil Bhagwat

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Divya Dutta, Sonam, Kapoor, Prakash Raj and others

Direction: Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra

Rating: ****

As an Indian, I was really curious to watch this movie. Especially because I had heard how people were treated during the India-Pakistan Partition. Right from the first released trailer, my expectations as a moviegoer grew. Will the movie live up to my expectations?

This movie is based not only on the Partition, but also (and more so) on the life of the legendary sprinter Milkha Singh. He is known today as the “flying Sikh,” a title given to him by Gen Ayub Khan.

After all the horrors that he he goes through – mainly the massacre of his entire family with the exception of his elder Sister Irsi Kaur – his determination and perseverance to eventually achieve what he managed to achieve is what the movie is about.

The first half of the movie is very entertaining, especially where he joins the army and eventually goes on to become a sprinter representing India.  There are two scenes pre-intermission that are tense and at the same time, have a deep impact. But I thought the second half was better than the first because of his journey from Chandigarh to Pakistan. Milkha is initially reluctant to travel to Pakistan for obvious reasons. But, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru eventually convinces him. Another sequence that I really enjoyed was the montage where the audience is shown his achievements in the different Olympic games.

But there is an element in this movie that I did not like. It isn’t a less violent film considering that it has been given a U (Universal) rating in our country. I think they should probably have given a UA (Parental Guidance Advised).

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag could have easily become an anti-Pakistan film because of certain scenes. I shall refrain from divulging too much information, as it will definitely spoil the impact. But I will say that the makers have balanced it out beautifully in the scipt.

The actors in this film have mostly been perfectly cast. Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh, is the show stealer. His performance is award winning. His physique is also to die for. I felt that Sonam Kapoor was not the right choice for playing the role of Birro, Milkha’s love interest in the first half because she definitely needs to work on her expressions and dialogue delivery. Japtej Singh, as the younger Milkha shines in a very difficult role. His expressions are bang on, and he conveys the emotions required with utmost conviction. Divya Dutta as his elder sister is also very good in the movie. All the other actors have lent wonderful support.

As far as the film’s technical aspects are concerned, the story, screenplay, and dialogues by Prasoon Joshi are simply brilliant. The Direction by Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, is exquisite. The music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy suits the mood of the movie. The background score yet again by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is marvelous. It really immerses the audience. The Cinematography by Binod Pradhan, is really stunning. In fact, it is one of the best cinematographic representations I have seen. The editing by P.S. Bharathi, is razor sharp!

In conclusion, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is really an impactful film with stellar performances and technical aspects. It will create a lasting impact on today’s generation. Don’t miss this gem of a movie.

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