Verdict: 3 ½*
Hindi film industry has failed to produce any quality biopic in whole 100 years. Yes, there are few exceptions but those films went unnoticed (“Excluding Paan Singh Tomar”). Same is the case with sports films in India. There are few but those are not enough.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag scratches the surface of both, Biopic and Sports with some elements of familiar genres in traditional Hindi films. But it only succeeds in touching first few steps of epicness and remains to be just another good entertaining film.
Film opens with 1960 Rome Olympics 400 meter racing event. Protagonist of film Milkha Singh is trying his level best to win but few meters short, he looks behind and falls short to any medal in the event. Dreams are shattered, posters are burnt but no one knows, that looking back, is related with inglorious past of Milkha Singh.
Rest of the film is told in flashback and sometimes flashback within flashback. In linear manner, it follows the journey of 12 year Milkha in pre partition period to 1960 India-Pak Friendship meet athletics event. This journey includes his first love, street smartness, joining army, training, failure, again training and success.
Major flaw in the films is Script Writer Prasoon Joshi and Director Rakeysh Mehra have tried to justify each and every action performed by protagonist in positive way. This infers to the usual NO-NEGATIVE Hindi Film hero who can’t do anything wrong. Failure in 1956 Melbourne Olympics is justified to lack of concentration due to “UNAVOIDABLE” reasons and many more.
In attempt to glorify the heroic image, we are made to watch numerous slow motion sequences of races, one of them showing Milkha running with wounds and bandages slowly come off with dramatic music and he still manages to win the race.
Script Writer Prasoon Joshi has done a good job but fails to give a grass root touch to the biopic of a man who was from bottom level of the society. All praise to Rakeysh Mehra and Cinematographer Vinod Pradhan. This film is one of the very few nicely shot films in last few years. Past of Milkha is shown in nice sepia environment. Sequences in Ladakh are cherry on the cake.
In acting department, Farhan Akhtar gives his soul to the Milka Singh. You cannot separate them from one another (Sure sweeper of all the “Best Actor” Dolls next year). Pawan Malhotra shines as Coach Yugraj Singh and so does Yograj Singh as Ranveer Singh. Prakash Raj,Sonam Kapoor and Dilip Tahil make small but memorable appearances.
Music of the films is average. Only Zinda stands out but it will sure wear off sooner or later. Background score is nicely done which blends in ultra slow-motion sequences.
All together, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a good watchable film. Though 190 minutes long, it never lets you get bored. But it is not epic. It is driven by epic performances of Farhan Akhtar and Vinod Pradhan.
Bhag Milkha Bhag Show Time In Nashik