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Movie Review-Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

Updated on October 28, 2016

Grinding through the tunnel of Fire


Movie Review - Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

Genre - Biographical, (Hindi)

Cast - Farhan Akhtar, Divya Dutta,

Director - Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Pavan Malhotra, Sonam Kapoor, Yograj Singh

A biographical portrayal of the life of sports legend Milkha Singh, the movie starts off rivetingly with pulsating spectators anticipating a grand race in the 400 meter sprint at the Rome Olympics of 1960. World record holder Milkha Singh is shown looking back apprehensively during his run and in due course, loses his lead over his rivals. Whether it actually happened is a matter of debate, but the movie version imagines his looking back as his suffocating and fearfully locking-down tendency of not being able to let go of his horrific past.

As the movie progresses, the story of Milkha Singh's life unfolds.

A happy-go-lucky son of a farmer in erstwhile un-partitioned India, he is most happy rushing through the vast green fields of his ancestral village. As the historic dawn of an independent nation approaches, a very dark side of the after-effects of the momentous occasion gets to be seen during the heart-wrenching mass exodus and communal clashes. Young Milkha Singh has to endure a torturous and horrendous consequence of the ensuing riots.

From then on, beginning with his entry in Delhi at a refugee camp, his growing up years among the local hoodlums and his intiation to criminal ways, to his recruitment at an army base camp, the recurring nightmares never stop. Attempts at wooing the local beauty does help in soothing his pain to a certain extent.

Finally, a chance offering of a break from the monotonous disciplinary routine to the best athletes in the camp spurs him on to undergo a rigorous training regime to develop his sprinting abilities. The scope allows him to run; and just run. A seemingly perfect cathartic route for his tormented soul.

Milkha Singh goes all out in trying to better himself beyond all, and relentlessly overcomes a mountain of hurdles, both physical and mental, in trying to be the best. He creates a spate of records in both national and international competitions, surpassing one and all around him.

But strangely, at the highest summit of performance, when it matters the most, he falls. Dejected and shocked, he leaves for his hometown, cutting himself away from all and sundry.

Finally, when requested by the highest authorities in the country to lead a delegation to Pakistan, he is forced to confront his worst hounding fears. And as painful as it may be, he decides to face it, culminating in him ready to run his final race, with truly everlasting freedom.

A compelling story backed by truly gripping performances by the lead actor Farhan Akhtar and Divya Dutta, accompanied by stellar roles by Yograj Singh and Pawan Malhotra, the inspirational and motivating crux rests on the bottom-line that no matter how hard, but when our demons are truly and completely conquered and exonerated, the efforts of our empowered performances lead to outstanding results to which the entire world stands to applaud.

The End


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