wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is indeed long. It is a typical sports story too. But, it keeps you in your seat all along with moments of victory and failure, of course but also with moments of emotion and introspection.Read more
It is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's film. It has Farhan Akhtar in it. It is about a sport that is not cricket. It is about a hero of his times, who kids of today know very little about. You can only hope that it will prove that it's a special film.
It does have a resemblance to Paan Singh Tomar, in a good way. I am sure the initial part of the story line is very similar.
Other than that, I was impressed with how Farhan Akhtar has molded into the character from the first time I saw the trailer. Now, with the dances and after hearing more dialogue from him, I am really looking forward to hearing his Punjabi accent.
I'm not sure that I like the idea that it has song and dance. But, I'll wait to see how they flow in and out of the story. The music itself has received mixed reactions.
- meeta, a part of the audience
The audience goes "oooh", "aaah", and "woohoo" with every up and down that Milkha Singh goes through, in the first five minutes itself. And my heart goes along too. Yes, it is long. Yes, it has songs. Yes, it is dramatized, even over-dramatized at times. Except for the songs, all of it works for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Oh and yes, it is predictable too. But, then isn't that fact predictable in the first place? It is a true life story after all.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag makes a deliberate effort to balance between telling an inspirational story and not making it a boring History lesson. With the number of slow motion scenes and choreographed, lip-sync songs the makers might have gone a little overboard in trying to keep things interesting. Sure, if Bhaag Mllkha Bhaag were told as a "He came. He Ran. He conquered." story, it might have made for better cinema. But, would the risk of Milkha Singh's spirit reaching out to a smaller audience been worth it? So, this once, if having Milkha Singh dance while tapping his buttocks is what it takes, so be it.
I am sure writer, Prasoon Joshi must have thought long and hard over what was left out of Milkha Singh's story and what was added. It is a shame that typical Farhan Akhtar-style PJs (Poor Joke) found their way in. From having seen him as himself on TV shows, the jokes instantly reminded me it was Farhan Akhtar I am watching.
It took away from the otherwise gripping performance. Yeah, his accent doesn't flow naturally, it comes across as trained. His diction is slightly distracting - as it is when he speaks Hindi or English too. But, Farhan Akhtar smiles his charming smile to endear Milkha Singh to you. The upper teeth jutting forward give it, what I assume, a Milkha touch. You sense Milkha's pain and determination. You want him to go easy on himself when he heaves and pants. And you want him to win.
Divya Dutta and Pawan Malhotra add the much needed layers to Milkha Singh's personality than Milkha Singh himself. Their characters' aspirations and pride show through in the couple of emotional scenes between each one of them and Milkha Singh. Divya Dutta is easily one of the most under-rated actors in Hindi films. Jabtej Singh as young Milkha too gets you to feel his pain, despair and courage.
On the other hand, Sonam Kapoor does her usual do as Neeru. She's stiff and looks like she's making a style statement with her salwar suits and hair curls. She has such little impact that you feel you have seen a lead lady in the film for the first time when Rebecca Breeds comes on screen as Stella. Similarly, Prakash Raj as the comic relief didn't work for me either, as in he acted well, but the comedy seemed a little off for the film.
If there is one thing you can tell about Indian men from what was going on, on screen and in the audience is that it takes as little as either a few bikini-clad or non-Indian women to excite them. Anyway, as discomforting as that was, from Neeru to Stella to Perizad (Meesha Shafi) they all exist to show Milkha Singh's priority - his work. The little time spent on Milkha Singh's transition from one woman to another tell's you about the makers' focus too - Milkha Singh and his training.
I've always had a problem with the little time spent on the athlete's training in a sports film, or for that matter the minimal time that any underdog takes to come up to speed in a film. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is more than satisfying in that respect. Milkha Singh gets long and strenuous training sessions from the director, enough for you to beg for his mercy on Milkha Singh's behalf.
Another huge section of the film is the flashbacks into Milkha Singh's childhood and especially the partition of 1947. The sequences are a little too over-stylized for the era that they are set in. But, they are styled well. The editing, the transitions, the interspersing are all pretty slick and thus end up giving those bits a contemporary feel. Again, if that's what it takes to keep more people interested, so be it. The non-linear narration also keeps you absorbed.
As you stay engaged, you realise that this is not about one athlete or one victim of the partition. Taking nothing away from how special Milkha Singh's achievements were to the country, especially in those times, almost any athlete will have stories of his roots and hardwork worth narrating. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is as much a salute to them as it is to the man himself. It is as much a tribute to the millions of partition victims who suffered and sustained as it is about how unfair his life was.
You also wonder if the situation, especially of athletes, has really improved today. In fact, from the couple of cases I know, our non-star athletes have it worse now. The conditions they have to sustain in, the politics and corruption involved is mind-boggling. Subtly, the film also tells you how our soldiers, our protectors, have it worse than our athletes. It doesn't dwell too much on it, because the core of the film is Milkha Singh's spirit.
I want my kids to watch Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and I recommend you take yours too (Please read Parental Guidance section for details on Violent and Sexual content). Not only for the film's potential to inspire, but also to sensitize them to parts of our history that are terrifying. Even more terrifying is that it is being forgotten and taken for granted. Kids know the partition, at best, as a story - India got freedom; India was divided; millions of people were displaced. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag gives them a glimpse of what a kid their age went through. And of course, it's also important they see how he persevered through hardships that they cannot even imagine. It's our job then, to have them extrapolate it to the millions who suffered.
So, this time around I'll take the little ones to the theater, not for the beauty of seeing life on screen, but for the beauty of a life or many.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Anna Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...There is no glossing over the brutality inflicted on innocents on that side of the border, but Prasoon skillfully steers clear of rabble-rousing. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG may not be as energetic as projected in its promotional campaign. It misses the fire and it misses the excitement. Yet it does remain a worth watching film and a significant step in Hindi Film Industry, showing them a way that we do need to make films on our historical figures and national heroes at regular intervals, along with catering to the commercial aspects of the business like BMB... full review
Thumbs up, by Aashi Gahlot, Bolly Spice : ...When Milkha Singh is triggered into recalling the past, the flash backs are in black and white or sepia colour. This creates a powerful feeling of memory, of emotion, of trying to unravel some questions.... full review
Thumbs up, by Khalid Mohamed, Deccan Chronicle : ...And was an in-joke essential? Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra shows up in a cameo, on board the athlete’s first airplane ride, to announce that he is the captain of the flight. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...But enter Sonam Kapoor and things start going wrong––picture a rustic Punjabi girl of the 1950s saying,“Gandhiji ke janamdin par poore India mein chutti hoti hai,” in rich Juhu kid’s accent... full review
Thumbs up, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...But Art Malik struggles hard to get his diction and dialogues right and for that matter even Farhan doesn’t get it all right as far as the diction is concerned.... full review
Thumbs up, by Kritika Deval, fullhyd.com : ...It is an engrossing conversation which never overstays its welcome. And if it gets a bit too hero-worshippy and exhuberant in its approach, we forgive them. The man deserves his share of Bollywood drama.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sudhish Kamath, The Hindu : ...It’s just too long and exhausting a journey at the end, but one we must take. To celebrate a hero. And to encourage the rarely attempted genre.... full review
Thumbs up, by Gayatri Sankar, Zee News : ...The film on the whole is entertaining but has certain glitches that could have been avoided. Had the run time been a little shorter, perhaps it would have been a lot better. ... full review
So-So, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...What could have been a fast paced, laced with the pleasant smell of earth-kind of a story, turns into a meandering, indulgently long, and unnecessarily melodramatic... full review
So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...It is amply clear by the end of the three hours of the film’s running time that the song-and-dance Bollywood form does not lend itself to the simple dynamics of a sporting biopic.... full review
Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...A film like this should whip you into a frenzy, and here I felt I was at the receiving end of a life in bullet points. This happened. Then that happened. Then this happened. And then that happened.... full review
Thumbs down, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ...It is also a perfect example of how not to make a sports biopic, and a telling comment on the compulsion of most filmmakers to “Bollywoodise” what starts off as an unusual subject and premise.... full review
YadavVirender: bhaag milkha bhaag awsome movie,,
VishalLodaya: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: Very Very Watchable! Stretched yes. But brilliantly made. @FarOutAkhtar is superb.
VernekarD: #Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Once again.
U2karsh: Some movies are meant to be watched on big screen, And Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is definitely one of them.
tkaur25: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was amazing! Truly inspirational @BMBThefilm
Thinkfolly: Watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag today. Sheer cinematic treat..a must watch.
tanvi_pruthi: Watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag ! Such an inspirational movie !!! Milkha Singh is a true hero.
sykeswift: Wow bhaag milkha bhaag is sooooooooo good :P
sunilsingal03: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, truly briliant and inspirational. Lovely Experience. hats off @FarOutAkhtar
sumitbhowmick84: T9: Bhaag MIlkha Bhaag, a nice movie, must watch
subirkrdas: watched biography of flying shikh #BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG...few times my throat turns stuck and so my nerves...great... http://www.facebook.com/subir.kr.das/posts/689378861076036
sscposts: hello frnds..plz watch bhaag milkha bhaag movie .nice movie nd its real life story of milkha
SrishtiLal: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, what a brilliant movie! Kudos to @FarOutAkhtar for the superb impersonation of Milkha Singh. Feeling inspired ^_^
srcgreen: Saw Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, the new Bolly film. Enjoyed it thoroughly 'cause I expected (and got) inspiring, well-acted mainstream cinema. #BMB
singhabhayendra: Bhaag milkha bhaag gr8 movie by farhan akthar. .
sid_speak: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is an amazing example of what happens when fabulous acting, direction, cinematography, editing & music are put together!
shilpidahele: Just seen bhaag milkha bhaag. Such a brilliant movie.... Excellent and inspirational. Well done to the main man farhan akhtar.
Shasanka24: 'bhaag milkha bhaag' outstanding n awesome movie.....10 out of 10.... :)
SharnKhaira: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, awesome film and truly inspiring. Think I have a new male crush
SfurtiPatkar: Salute to The Flying Sikh! #'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' a must watch movie....
sana_beotra1D: bhaag milkha bhaag! <3
Saionton: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - superb
rth_benz: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: Good story as a whole... Wonderful direction... Farhan Akhtar, as axpected, was awesome...... https://www.facebook.com/riteshth/posts/10200442717045384
rove2mushin: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is definitely a good movie to watch, lovely to see a story being told about an athlete.Got to know so much about Milkha.
romikshah: #bhaag milkha bhaag - A must watch movie ! @FarOutAkhtar
rishurocks: Watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. EPIC and so Inspirational.Salute to the Flying Sikh in Real and @FarOutAkhtar. Gud work @sonamakapoor.
rashmi_1987: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag one more classic — feeling wonderful
RaiAkriti: Well, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was pretty awesome.
rai_shubhanshu: watched Bhaag MILKHA Bhaag very inspirational movie for our generation. FEELING INSPIRED.:)
rahilkapur: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is epic. So much hard work by @faroutakhtar in the movie. Unbelievable stuff. Amazing cinema!
praneeshkhanna: bhaag milkha bhaag!!! what an inspiration. #lovedit...major respect for Sir Milkha Singh, what a legend he is.
prafulsakpal: Awesome movie "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"
Pavan_Noojipady: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag a truely Inspirational and Hatts off to the Real Milkha Singh \m/
pankyt: BhaaG MilkhA BhaaG...A Good movie ♡:-):-):-)
OmkarKhandve: Saw Bhaag Milkha Bhaag ... Awesome movie !! Liked it.. Take a bow @FarOutAkhtar #superbmovie
nihaar_shah17: One of the longest movie and still didn't feel dragged on for one second. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. #Amazing #Inspirational
NidhiGurnani: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag deserves all the praise its receiving, and more.
need_a_map: "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" is probably one of best films I have ever seen, cried so much. So inspiring tho! #TheFlyingSikh
ndthacker: *Bhaag Milkha Bhaag* What a masterpiece..! Respect to Milkha Singh (A True Legend). Salute to @FarOutAkhtar for picturing it so beautifully.
mohitsharma0403: Bhaag milkha bhaag ......true human spirit...what a human being can do to achieve his goal....
MEHULSHUKLA09: Hats off to Farhan Akhtar for spellbinding performance in "BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG". Epic movie, superb direction, strong performances
MBhagania: the search for the movie of the year comes to an end BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG will run away with the maximum honours
manveermalhi: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is an inspirational movie.Must Watch.
ManpreetS_06: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is easily one of the best films of the year! Amazing!
manojarmoor: Just saw bhaag MILKHA bhaag!!★★★★
Manishyadav0071: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is phenomenal! Fills up wth bright light ! Aaaho..! Faran Akhtar is Unbelievably Brilliant as Milkha.
MandyBirgi: Must watch #Bhaag Milkha Bhaag ... Xcellnt movie.
maheshbhujle: Bhaag milkha bhaag... what a gr8 movie... inspiring movie
madhuvanpushp: Take a bow Om Prakash Mehra for churning out the biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Hats off @FarOutAkhtar u have nailed it dude. #Respect!!!
Liakie: Bhaag milkha bhaag .. Omg watta muvi ! Feeling proud of milkha Singh .. He made our country proud .. true legend !! Don miss it Frenz
KusshalTrivedi1: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - Good Movie
koyelbhattacha5: bhaag milkha bhaag!truely an awsome biopic.
KoolRitam: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is awe-inspiring..... one would fall short of adjectives to describe this magnificient masterpiece.
karsonali111000: Bhaag milkha bhaag........superb movie..........:-)
karansinghmagic: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag despite being slow and long is phenomenally directed. Take a bow Mr. Mehra.
KameeniChhori: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in one word - OUTSTANDING. Brilliant acting by the star cast. Paisa wasool movie. DO WATCH.
jyotikaundinya: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag...A legendary movie it should be called..
Jolly_Jinu: Bhaag milkha bhaag is long movie but its so emotional that u vl not realise the time truly an oscar film.
jagmohanshimla: Having thought,completed,released "bhaag milkha bhaag" while iconic champion is still alive, rakeysh & farhan have done mountain of justice
itsnumber42: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is simply amazing !!!
insanity_plea: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is worth 1 time watch as long as you remember its a documentary-biopic. Great job @FarOutAkhtar !! #Respect #AmirLeague
ImAshish14: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (y) A must watch. 4.5/5
IHarshShah: Awesome movie bhaag milkha bhaag
iamvikramveer: Saluting 3 ppl 1) Milka Singh 2) Farhan akhtar 3) Rakesh on prakash Mehra ... Wat a beauty was Bhaag Milkha Bhaag #appreciate
iammallick: 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' is good...a bit lengthy...but keeps one interested enough.
i_AM_sAGARr: Still reeling under the spell of '#Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' what a movie it was! Hats off to director n his screenplay
gkarthik23: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag made my weekend. @FarOutAkhtar you are unbelievable sir. Truly master class ! Kudos to the entire team
DV07fan: watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag 2day...... a really gud movie...... AWESOME performance by @FarOutAkhtar a MUST WATCH film.... #BMB
durgabhalla: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag ...a very well made Film .Excellent performances by All .A must watch for everyone .....
Divinitya7: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag simply amazing; awed.
disha11parmar: WHAT A FILM... Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.. A VERY loud shoutout to @FarOutAkhtar U WERE OUT OF THE WORLD.... Contd 1/2
DimpleSuhanda: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - Aaho ji...
deepakkmohanty: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag movie is a must watch.
colinross1975: saw the excellent Bhaag Milkha Bhaag about the superb athlete Milkha Singh - The Flying Sikh and also a fascinating insight into Partition.
Code_Yash: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag!! Just brilliant Take a bow @FarOutAkhtar and @RakeyshOmMehra!! #FlyingSikh #BMB
CLK_23: Thank you @Flickbay i simple loved Bhaag Milkha Bhaag !
celebrityAnanya: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag it is a nice movie.......
bollyfit: Just saw the movie 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. It is a fantastic movie and a MUST SEE! The story is amazing and very... http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10151694579610845&id=111587495844
BinLatheef: When an inspiring story is true, it becomes a legend. Bhaag #Milkha Bhaag is the story of such a legend, told beautifully.
Bhawna_Khanduja: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag...truly inspiring!!
basupartha: "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" definitely the run of a lifetime,truly inspiring.#BhagMilkhaBhag @FarOutAkhtar
banerjee06: Bhaag milkha bhaag is an inspirational flick..despite its shortcomings what a tribute to the flying sikh #flyingsikh #milkhasingh
baaarrooon: A little too cheesy for my taste, but Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was nevertheless a really good film.
ArpitaPaul: Sweet Sunday evening.. #bhaag milkha bhaag with @Karabhijeet & family! Love u honey fr the nice surprise :)
apgp88: bhaag milkha bhaag is bit stretched but awesome movie !
AnkitChopra_: Just watched #Bhaag #Milkha #Bhaag BEST FILM OF THE YEAR. Must Must Must watch Movie :) @FarOutAkhtar thankyou for makin dis film.:)
Ank4you: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag kind of movies can rebound the Legends and I think can also motivate youth towards other sports rather than only cricket
AnantAshishAm: BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG ! Oscar Winning from The Republic of INDIA !
aman1611: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag... A must watch for everyone... #Farhan u nailed it dude... #Respect — feeling motivated
aman_8558: Went to go see Bhaag Milkha Bhaag it's truly the best Bollywood movie that I've seen
AKHlLESH: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag! What a movie! Fuckin Amazing.. Must watch for every Indian. Farhan Akhtar, Rakyesh Om Prakash Mehtra #Respect
ajitkumarsingh: Watched movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Amazing movie.. Must see .. Farhaan Rocking...
AjeetabhChauhan: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag . Gr8 work by Mr. Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra .
ADTSinghSharma: AMAZING! RT @ApekshaDandekar: Just watched bhaag milkha bhaag with @ADTSinghSharma... What a tribute to a legend!!
AdityaASurve: Bhaag milkha bhaag <3<3 ^_^ what a superb movie!!! Deserves a standing ovation!!
AdiK3: Watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag today! Wonderful movie! The wonders of sheer grit and dedication! #BhaagMilkhaBhaag
abc3715: Bhaag milkha bhaag is 1of the great movie:-)
abbasrizvii: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag @FarOutAkhtar flawless acting.. amazing performance and amazing movie.
A_SublimeEvents: "Bhaag Milkha bhaag" makes our country proud of d unheard o forgottn hero "Milkha Singh". Tribute to him:-) A must watch film!
9634060506: Bhaag milkha bhaag best sports film indian history and frhan work very very good 2013 bollywood.
_rgupta: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is indeed slow pace. Still viewers don't run away and still the end.
_faultystars: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag..truly an inspirational story of a legendary Indian
yoyovinni: Agreed a good movie but, "in love with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"?Then please go and watch it again and waste 6 and half hours of your life! Fools
rathinikesh: And in last few minutes I am tempted to downgrade Bhaag Milkha Bhaag from Goodish to Average.
insomniac__girl: Bhaag milkha bhaag is a very okay movie.
bhuvaneshwar: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag 3/5 -- > Farhan Akthar's performance stands out.. lengthhhhhhhhhhyyyyy ..
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Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anuj
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anuj
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anup : Invest ur money in this one
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Hardik : song inspirational and it's trailer good so movie must be hit
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Karthik : One of the best movie to come out in recent times.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Mohammad farooq : For the dedication of Farhan, inspiration of Milkha and for bringing back the athletic spirit.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Rachit Gupta : Fantastic story about a truly inspirational figure....
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Reviewer
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Suman
Nay! Thumbs Down, by Samir : If the movie didn't have Milkha's name in it, it'd go unnoticed.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Based on the life of Indian athlete of the 50s, Milkha Singh.