'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' - Run to Watch This Marvel

Wednesday, 10 July 2013, 13:33 Hrs
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Film: "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"; Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Rebecca Breeds, Divya Dutta, Prakash Raj and Pavan Malhotra; Writer: Prasoon Joshi; Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra; Rating: *****

History is created in several ways. One of them is cinema. And if Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" seems like a near-flawless homage to the flying spirit of India's greatest runner, it is partly because the story, so nimbly woven into a pastiche of drama, emotion, humour and pathos by Prasoon Joshi, is in no hurry to keep pace with the onscreen Milkha's breathless sprint.

The story of super-sprinter Milkha Singh unfolds in this exceptional biopic at its own volition. There's no effort here "to tell a story", to create an impression or to whip up a dramatic storm to captivate audiences. The synergy in the storytelling seems subliminal.

Still, we the audience, fed week after week on mediocrity masquerading as cinema, are riveted to the story of Milkha Singh for over three hours of playing time.

How come? Well, to begin with it is Milkha Singh's own powerful life as India's superstar sportsperson that sweeps us into the biopic. Milkha was so poor he couldn't afford running shoes, and when he got them, he didn't know how to run in them. When milk was offered in the army in exchange of running practice, he grabbed it (the run and the milk) with both hands.

A victim of India's brutal partition, Milkha's story was waiting to be told. And thankfully, no one before Mehra saw cinematic potential in his story. If Milkha's story had to be told, the storyteller had to be a master craftsman, and one who doesn't waste space in self-congratulatory flourishes.

With immense help from Prasoon Joshi, Mehra harnesses Milkha's life-story into an experience that is pure cinema and yet undiluted and uncompromised by the mandatory, often silly, illogical and idiotic semantics of mainstream commercial cinema.


Source: IANS
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