Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Divya dutta, Sonam kapoor, Pawan Malhotra
Director: Rakesh Omprakash Mehra
Running time: 187 minutes.
It runs flawlessly with splashes of adrenaline rushing sequences induced with hair-raising background score from the very first moment it unfolds. Add to that the emotionally stirring scenes, pitch-perfect casting, hair-raising background scores, a very detailed screenplay, solid supporting cast and the dedication of Farhan essaying the role of Milkha Singh and you have the perfect recipe for a blockbuster. If there is something that can make you put on your running shoes and run that extra mile for your country, than this is IT.
A movie on the flying Sikh’s life is expected to fly through smoothly. Well, this doesn’t disappoint you, even with a running time of 3 hours and 7 minutes!!!! The story, of course based on the life of Milkha Singh, is inspiring in itself. From being a child affected by the partition, to ending up in the Indian army, which ultimately paves his way towards the being the athlete, winning laurels all over the world, the topsy-turvy journey explained through Rang de basanti styled flash-backs. The complexity of his life has been simplified with every detail possible.
The casting has been done brilliantly; you cannot single out even one character which didn’t fit the bill. Even Sonam kapoor doesn’t leave a single trace of her “acting” in the smallest role that she has played yet. Guess, that’s why she agreed to be paid just Rs 11 for the same.
Apart from Sonam, Rebecca Breeds with which Milkha has a small fling in Australia and the Indian swimmer (debutante Pakistani model Meesha Shafi ) from which he despises in the movie but is his present wife have roles where they look great, and act too.
Divya dutta as Milkha’s sister Isri kaur and Pawan Malhotra as the endearing coach Gurudev singh put an emotionally uplifting performance on screen. The brother-sister relationship in times of the partitioned struggle and the Guru-Shishya bond during Milkha’s early days explaining how he became one, is lovable.
Prakash Raj playing the strict Army man, puts in the light moments.
Prasoon joshi, with the story and screenplay does a brilliant job in putting this biopic which is no less than a tribute to the Legend. Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, best known for Rang de basanti directs this with this heart-warming tale encompassing the whole life of Milkha. His eye for detail is evident in not just the casting, but also the picturization of the scenes. Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy compliments the scenes inspiringly.
It is filled with cinematic melodrama to please the audience, but it all works out well. Credit of course has to go to Farhan, not just for the sincerity and dedication that gets shown in the way he trains, be it in the army camp, or on the high-altitude along with Yograaj singh (Cricketer Yuvraj singh’s father playing Team india coach) brightens you up.
Milkha and Farhan are just inseparable. You won’t find an ounce of farhan here, just Milkha being portrayed beautifully. He has actually lived Milkha in the movie. Not just the looks (Although that is some inspiration to hit the gym straightaway!!!). Scene where he slaps himself in the mirror for a failure to qualify goes to show how much of a character-actor he is.
The dedication is evident in the training that has gone through and the humungous effort that has been put behind making this epic of this magnitude.
Believe me, if it wasn’t for this movie, hardly many from our generation would come to know of the struggle of Milkha went through.
For the dedication of Farhan, inspiration of Milkha and for bringing back the athletic spirit, I’m going with a 4.5/5. Don’t miss this biopic.