For two and a half years, the writer fed ink to the paper.
For six months, gymnasium was the home for the actor.
Female lead charges Rs.11…
And many more such interesting trivia about ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ created lot of buzz. The theatrical trailer won the hearts. The promos started bombarding the TV channels and the Internet. This biopic seemed like a winner even before its release. Unfortunately, there is a mismatch between the final output and all the effort that went into it.
The 3hour 10minutes movie captures the important phases of Milkha Singh till he wins the title ‘Flying Sikh’. ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ is in fact, a very unusual piece where you have intriguing performances by the cast, on one side and an utterly slow narration on the other. Though non-linear story-telling is the order of the day, it spoils the fun in this case, by mercilessly going back into the past exactly when the contemporary scenes enthrall you. The first-half especially has a continuous battle between the awe-inspiring moments and the ineffective ‘slo-mo’ scenes of the childhood. The love-track doesn’t touch you either. By the end of the end of first-half, the whole essence is killed with the overtly dragged story. "However, the second half comes to the rescue ,making it gripping with proceedings being smooth and to the point". Though too late, you get engrossed and start enjoying the spirit. The culmination gets even better, with some goose-bumpy moments.
The biggest strength of BMB is Farhan Akthar, who has honestly submitted himself to this role. Apart from the physical transformation, what impresses you is his sincere performance, and an urge to emote the feelings of Milkha Singh. He has understood Milkha Singh and his life, not just factually, but emotionally too! Farhan was flawless would be an understatement.
Pavan Malhotra was top-notch as the motivating coach, and Divya Dutta was outstanding as the ever giving sister. Sonam Kapoor had a limited role, which has ineffective. Prakash Raj was entertaining. Yograj Singh was good as the Indian coach and Dalip Tahil was convincing as Pandit Nehru.
Binod Pradhan (DOP), P.S.Bharati (editor), and the whole art department made sure the visuals are very convincing taking us back to the post-Independence era. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s background score was more than perfect in many sequences, but lacked soul in some places.
On the whole, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ doesn’t live up to the hype is a golden opportunity lost by Prasoon Joshi and Om Prakash Mehra. This magnum opus would have been a milestone only if the pace hadn’t destroyed it. However, it’s worth a watch for the absorbing performance of Farhan Akthar and some great visuals.