( Published on tripurainfo.com on 21st July, 2013)
When you watch a Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra film, you tout de suite know that it's certainly a Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra film, for no other filmmaker ‘dares’ to portray a PRESENT-MEETS-PAST account of life so effortlessly and with such great subtlety as he does. He had earlier employed this technique in his blockbuster Rang De Basanti that had touched a million hearts and he does it again in his latest Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a Biopic on India’s fastest runner, Milkha Singh. In BMB, the Present meets the Past on several occasions, and every time, it's a new revelation of the already known tale. Like DJ meets Azad and they smile at each other near the end in Rang De Basanti, Rakeysh makes Milkha meet Milkha in the closing moments of the wonderfully woven tale of the Indian Legend, a Refugee-turned-Coal thief-turned-Smuggler-Turned-Army-Jawaan-turned-Athlete-turned-Padmashri of our country!
In BMB, Rakeysh uses the ‘story within a story’ or the ‘play within a play’ technique to depict the life of the Sikh lad, who had lost miserably at the Rome Olympics in 1960, who was heavily criticized and condemned by his countrymen for that ‘terrible act’, who brought laurels to the country on a hundred occasions breaking the world record, who was orphaned during the great Partition of the country, who grew up at a refugee camp amidst goons and rag pickers, who shared a beautiful relationship with his elder sister, who protested against his first realization of a brutal love-making in the refugee camp where his sister had to submit to the wishes of the husband, who celebrated his first falling head-over-heels for a girl in his locality, who promised her that he’d come back to marry her, who was held behind the bars for travelling without ticket on train, who joined the Indian Army as a Jawaan, and finally who earned the title of “the Flying Sikh” for his ability to fly in the ground. Kudos!
For a moment, let's forget all the Khans and the Kapoors. Could I include the Bacchans too, with your permission? Instead, let's all talk about this extremely adorable, tall, soft- spoken, husky-voiced guy who had ‘wowed’ us with his directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai in 2001 where he had sensibly explored the themes of friendship and love. Yes, it’s him, Farhan Flying Akhtar, son of lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, who has been entertaining us for years now not only as a film maker, but also with his singing and acting skills in movies like Rock On and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, an International Youth Icon, who gave a soul- stirring performance in his recent flick, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Man, what physical metamorphosis he underwent to make himself look like the Legendary Indian Sprinter in question! Farhan’s determination and dedication to his work showed that he did not leave any stone unturned to get into the skin of the character so much so that the real Milkha Singh, after seeing the film said, “Farhan even looks like me”.
Farhan’s amazing acting skills made us laugh, made us cry, made us hold our tongues, made us whistle, made us clap- all in those enchanting 180 minutes in that dark room, where it seemed that a Milkha was running in us all, probably drenched in the rain of all the finished and unfinished hopes, hopeful and hopeless desires, desirable and undesirable expectations, expected & unexpected actions in the odyssey called LIFE.
BMB is certainly one of those movies with amazing cinematography; brilliant screenplay and feel-good songs, which you’d love to watch again and again, for it inspires, motivates and makes you happy from within.