Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Art Malik, Dev Gill, Master Jabtej Singh, Meesha Shafi
Director: Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra
Producer: Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra & Viacom 18
Genre: Sports Drama
The beauty of cinema is that a story can be told of a whole generation or even a single individual to the larger and wider audience. What Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra does with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is exactly that. Farhan Akhtar as the legendary and forgotten super-hero of not just India but the world will both pump your adrenaline to the highest level and make you tear with the same audacity. As the childhood, struggle, peak and end of Milkha Singh’s career unfolds on the big screen, another gem to the Hindi Film Industry has been added.
Mehra is known to make films that revive not just the youth but all in terms of finding the story behind heroes and go deep into their lives. Whether it is the lives of Aamir Khan & Siddharth in Rang De Basanti as they portrayed their struggle and freedom as Chandrashekhar Azad & Bhagat Singh respectively or the real-life depiction of world-record breaking 400m runner, Milkha Singh.
After joining and training under the Indian Army post a dreadful partition of India/Pakistan in 1947 where he lost most of his family and loved ones, Singh went on to represent India at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. He broke the world record, acquired 4 gold medals and came out victorious in 77 of his 80 races on an international circuit. Many people have let alone forgotten his achievements but the individual as a whole has not been provided with the stature that he should be given. The story that Mehra shares with his audience is that of intense research of numerous years through libraries and records from Australia, England and India; autobiography of Milkha Singh and personal accounts of Singh, himself and his son Jeev Milkha Singh (professional golfer).
Farhan Akhtar went through some very serious training both physically and mentally to prepare for his character. He is not only playing the role of an individual who lost his family at a mere age of 12 and was an orphaned thug before becoming a world champion; he is playing that particular character who is actually still alive! Since his debut in Rock On! to Luck By Chance & Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Akhtar has heightened in his ability to act and definitely narrows the frames of the audience to focus on just him. His on screen presence both during training sessions in deserts and valleys to romantic scenes with Sonam Kapoor and Rebecca Breeds is stunning.
The film does have an extensive runtime of 188 minutes but the storyline that is to be told makes it necessary. Screenwriter Prasoon Joshi does a tremendous job in compiling the story for this epic tale. Shankar-Ehsan-Loy with their diversely talented musical expertise keep the background score and soundtrack connected to the Punjabi folk genre and the time period to which the film is made; 1947-1960.
The way in which the story is told through flashbacks and present day narration makes it very easy for the viewer to understand in which direction the film is going and where Milkha Singh and his heart is during a certain emotion of a scene. The story is very inspiring and everyone involved from the actors to the crew members deserve a salute as they have brought not only a true hero back to the world but have provided with honesty and reasoning to the legend of Milkha ‘The Flying Sikh’ Singh. This title was provided to Singh by none other than former President of Pakistan, Ayub Khan who said after he was victorious at an Indo-Pak Peace contest – ‘You didn’t Run, You Flew.’ The film concludes here with a beautiful message of peace, hard work, dedication, nationalism, family and struggle.
Impeccable talent and names such as Farhan Akhtar, Divya Dutta, Prakash Raj and Sonam Kapoor are joined by actors from abroad such as Art Malik, Rebecca Breeds and Meesha Shafi. Under the banner of ROMP Pictures (Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra Pictures) and Viacom 18 along with the direction by Mehra and screenplay by Prasoon Joshi, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run Milkha Run) is surely to be a blockbuster as there is both commercial and emotional value when you go see the film as it releases worldwide on July 12th, 2013.
Check out the Official Trailer here: