Latest topics

Movie Review : "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"..:Story of India retold in jumps and sprints

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Movie Review : "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"..:Story of India retold in jumps and sprints

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-07-22, 08:23

 


Movie name: 
 
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Cast: 
 
Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Rebecca Breeds, Pawan Malhotra, Divya Dutta, Prakash Raj, Meesha Shafi, Dev Gill, Jabtej Singh, Art Malik
Director: 
 
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Rating: 
 

There’s a scene in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, where a young, 28-inch-waist Milkha Singh, flying for the first time to participate in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, freaks out. He stares out of the plane’s window, doesn’t see the ground, springs up and starts screaming that the plane is flying too high, that it will get thokoed and that he wants to get out. The captain arrives to calm his nerves.

Farhan Akhtar is Milkha Singh and the film’s director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, plays the captain who tells him all will be well. Since I watched the film I’ve been trying to figure out the real meaning of this scene. Were the film’s director, actor and writer trying to tell us something? Did Farhan really freak out during the making of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, considering the film was in-the-making for four years? Or was the director projecting his misgivings on to his actor? Both, I think. 
Bhaag Milka Bhaag is indulgent and long — 180-plus some minutes. That’s a minus. The plus is that the film’s writer, Prasoon Joshi, and the director decided not to simply tell the story of one of India’s finest athletes.

Of course they tell the story of Milkha, an orphaned Sikh refugee from Pakistan who grew up to join the Army after three failed attempts and became India’s prized track and field possession. It also tells the story of Milkha Singh who, at the 1960 Rome Olympics, looked back for a split second and lost his only real chance at Olympic glory. 
Of course it tells these stories. But it uses Milkha Singh as a metaphor to tell another story — the story of India. This intent is embedded in Joshi’s dialogue. He gets Farhan Akhtar to scream for all to hear: “Milkha Singh ban gaya India”.

Repeatedly the film seems to suggest that Milkha Singh didn’t win the Olympic race because world acclaim was not what he was after. It seems to suggest that Milkha’s real victory, the one race he could not, would not lose, was the 200 meter sprint against Pakistan’s Abdul Khaliq at the Indo-Pak Dual Meet in Lahore in 1962. 
That Milkha’s heart was not in the race when he ran for gold. But when he ran for honour, he really ran. That winning is obscene, and excellence for its own sake is meaningless; it’s to be kept in reserve to make a point to an adversary.
This is the story of India — a country for whom standing tall at the world stage comes second to kicking some Paki butt. We give our best only to make a point to our neighbour. That’s our story. 

The idea is interesting, but it’s dealt with in the most trite, lazy way possible. Mehra’s telling of these two stories is addled and feeble: Pakistanis are bad guys, Indians are good guys. 

Sur-asur, Kaurav-Pandava — our lives are so defined and held hostage by this idiotic binary that we are happy to play the victim, only to be magnanimous and honourable in brief victories. The film offers a mythical explanation for why Milkha turned to look back during the race, though the real Milkha Singh has never offered any excuse.
Of course they tell the story of Milkha, an orphaned Sikh refugee from Pakistan who grew up to join the Army after three failed attempts and became India’s prized track and field possession. It also tells the story of Milkha Singh who, at the 1960 Rome Olympics, looked back for a split second and lost his only real chance at Olympic glory. 

Of course it tells these stories. But it uses Milkha Singh as a metaphor to tell another story — the story of India. This intent is embedded in Joshi’s dialogue. He gets Farhan Akhtar to scream for all to hear: “Milkha Singh ban gaya India”.

Repeatedly the film seems to suggest that Milkha Singh didn’t win the Olympic race because world acclaim was not what he was after. It seems to suggest that Milkha’s real victory, the one race he could not, would not lose, was the 200 meter sprint against Pakistan’s Abdul Khaliq at the Indo-Pak Dual Meet in Lahore in 1962. 
That Milkha’s heart was not in the race when he ran for gold. But when he ran for honour, he really ran. That winning is obscene, and excellence for its own sake is meaningless; it’s to be kept in reserve to make a point to an adversary.
This is the story of India — a country for whom standing tall at the world stage comes second to kicking some Paki butt. We give our best only to make a point to our neighbour. That’s our story. 

The idea is interesting, but it’s dealt with in the most trite, lazy way possible. Mehra’s telling of these two stories is addled and feeble: Pakistanis are bad guys, Indians are good guys. 
Sur-asur, Kaurav-Pandava — our lives are so defined and held hostage by this idiotic binary that we are happy to play the victim, only to be magnanimous and honourable in brief victories. The film offers a mythical explanation for why Milkha turned to look back during the race, though the real Milkha Singh has never offered any excuse.
Then we are into adulthood, in Shahdara, Delhi, where Milkha arrives in designer patkas wrapped stylishly around his head.
This is the romance track that begins with distracted boy crashing into girl with matki. This meet cute sits on the top shelf of Bollywood clichés and is marked, “Seriously, dude, don’t!” And yet director after director grabs it and pretends as if they came up with it.

Here Farhan Akhtar flashes his dimples and the camera finds Biro’s (Sonam Kapoor) beauty so riveting that it can’t stop staring. 
Here Milkha’s clowning around gives us some joy and an inkling about what he can do if his path is crossed.

Apparently, there did exist a girl Milkha liked and it was she who inspired him to become an athlete. But this romance is annoying — it’s so Bollywood-routine and totally out of sync with the time it is set in.
Then we are back to the tracks — In Melbourne Milkha meets Stella (Rebecca Breeds). Ms Breeds is here for a particular purpose. She does what Indian actresses won’t do — a full-on hot smooch. But when Milkha loses the race, bonking is blamed.
A lot of time is wasted here on one swimming champion Perizaad (Meesha Shafi) and on a silly song-and-dance. If this film really were a biopic, a sporting context would have been nice — it was at these Olympic Games that the Indian hockey team won the gold medal, not allowing a single goal against in the entire tournament, and Shamsher Khan finished fifth in the 200 meters men’s breast stroke. 

Having lost, Milkha trains hard and we get the perfect male body in all its glory. This is a breath-taking shot, to be cut and stuck on wardrobe doors.
Then Rome and Pakistan. Bhaag Milha Bhaag is not jingoistic, but it happily tickles our jingo bone when it wants a climax.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is no Paan Singh Tomar. No doubt the film has some nice scenes, but they are few and far, far between. The between lingers on and on, one Bollywood inanity after another.

Though the film’s story is interesting and compelling, the screenplay is unimaginative and riddled with clichés. Scenes are predictable and the dialogue laboured.
Mehra’s direction is so inept that often the blaring background score interjects and goads us towards the emotion the director is aiming for. He gives us Art Malik who looks like Lion King but speaks Punjabi like an Englishman; and limits Meesha Shafi to the role of eye candy.

Mehra’s team gets the accessories of the period, the still-life stuff right. We even get a decent flavour of Punjab that was. But the real life stuff — language, behaviour, interactions, romance is by the Bollywood template. Even when men arrive on horse-back brandishing swords, it’s reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings and Zanjeer.  

Paan Singh and Milkha Singh’s stories are similar and yet they are not. Both ran, won races, but missed the big one.
Paan Singh’s personal story is dramatic and heart-rending. His professional achievements don’t quite match up to it. Milkha Singh’s professional achievements overshadow his personal life.

But in the silhouettes of both men we see courage and dignity. In Tigmanshu Dhulia’s 2012 film, Paan Singh slipped out of the screen and set you on fire. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s film makes you want to meet the real Milkha Singh.
Dhulia gave us an icon and a story about class divide and a criminally apathetic state. Mehra puts a feather in Farhan’s cap. 

One director humanized a hero, made him real, while the other uses a real life hero’s story to create a star.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s biggest achievement is that it reminds us that a legend still lives amongst us and that we should drop him a postcard.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is the best showcase possible for an actor of Mr Akhtar’s limited talents. The screen fills up with his sweating, focused mug. In fact, we often sit so close to his face that sometimes I thought I could feel his breath on my face. 
Through apocalyptic scenes — including a lyrical and emotional one where a bleeding Milkha runs to beat his tormentor — the film indulges in serious myth creation and seems to suggest that Milkha gave his best only when he was pissed off.  

Farhan has trained hard and well — he has the body, even if gym-toned, the look and the running style. There’s grace and slight femininity in his sprint, but his acting is a sorry state of affairs. On field he is Milkha Singh, but when he opens his mouth the spell is broken and Farhan Akhtar takes over.
Considering the amount of time and effort Farhan put into acquiring muscles and packs, he could have spent some time on his Punjabi diction. He speaks mock Punjabi which begins with “hello-ji” and ends with “yara”. Seriously?
He never transcends star-giri and we never quite connect with him. The film’s emotional anchors are its two peripheral characters — Divya Dutta and Pawan Malhotra. They are flesh and blood people who speak the way Punjabi is spoken — sctry for secretary — and allow us to channelise our emotions through them. Sonam Kapoor does her usual stuff — a Vogue photo-feature of Punjabi Girl in the Sixties.

credits Asian age 


Last edited by --sumana13-- on 2013-07-22, 12:52; edited 1 time in total

--sumana13--
Master Writer
Master Writer

Posts : 27532
Join date : 2013-02-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Movie Review : "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"..:Story of India retold in jumps and sprints

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-07-22, 08:26

a fan's  reply

Hello,
Not the movie, but your review sucks,which is quiet unimaginative and sounds unreasonable.I cannot believe that you get paid to write this.
And you think being a critic you can represent the view of masses??
You are one of the reasons why bollywood have been reluctant in trying new and different things.Just because it is not your regular masala movie, you call it boring??Huh!
All you want to promote is "Dabangg" type movies???(By the way, I liked dabangg too)
It may not have your regular love,romance and comedy but do you expect such things from a biopic, an achievement and life which has been lived under such compelling and extraordinary circumstances??

We went in a group of 6 people and most of us were hooked to our seats through out the movie.
it may not be the best movie ever made, but the story is told beautifully and plot is equally intense.

Farhan Akhtar must have spent 1000 of hours in the gym and training to shape his body to make it look real and convincing.At least respect their hard work and effort.
All the characters in the movie have done their parts exceptionally well.

it may not be appealing to everyone but then 2.5 is not justified either.
You call yourself a critic?? Think again!


credits Asian Age..

--sumana13--
Master Writer
Master Writer

Posts : 27532
Join date : 2013-02-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Movie Review : "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"..:Story of India retold in jumps and sprints

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-07-22, 12:53

fan's reply ..

Obviously this review is at odds with the outstanding box office response. But lets assume it is'nt about trade, but critique of the film Critique?
That Farhan must be frustrated that the film was 4 years in the making? Factually wrong (casting took years but once Farhan was on board it took 18 months), and personal about the actor/director
Critique? A review full of motherhoods like “ it packs this segment with clichés and goes straight for the maudlin”.Smartly negative without specifics.Enough to discourage viewers Critique?
As a critic comparing Paan Singh with BMB is a joke. Mehra clearly is making a Bollywood movie with no pretenses of realism. Songs and romance is thus a given . When the real Milkha appreciates it , its strange that critics don’t.

--sumana13--
Master Writer
Master Writer

Posts : 27532
Join date : 2013-02-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Movie Review : "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"..:Story of India retold in jumps and sprints

Post by Sponsored content Today at 11:30


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum