Run Milkha Run – A Slow Runner

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Bhaag mean Run) is categorized as the Biography of Milkha Singh, but with a little bit of entertaining elements added to it. And they do not pertain to only the song and dance. Milkha Singh is an icon in India. Knows as the Flying Sikh, he is really a great inspiration to a lot of people especially at a time, when India was still recovering from the Independence struggle. It is no small feat. Also to come from a place which was torn during the partition and making it big to create a world record, it definitely is a very commendable act. I have not read his biography or even his life history in short format. So I will go with the movie’s version and I know I need to take the facts with a pinch of salt. I ain’t gonna explain the story. The Wikipedia does a good job. 

First of all, it is 3 hr (just a few mins less) movie. That is really toooo long. I ain’t a big fan of biographies or autobiographies. If I remember correctly, the last biographical Indian movie I saw was ‘Gandhi‘ (well, now you know my taste 🙂 ). I almost missed this movie and the one and only reason was Farhan Akhtar. He has done an amazing job (even though I don’t like his voice modulation, now he cannot do anything about it can he ?) He has put his body and soul to the character. His hard work shows. I really wonder why Sonam Kapoor’s role was brought in ? Even if it was a part of his biography, we need not include anything and everything isn’t ? The film captures everything in his life, till his big moment (of failure too). But the moment of failure is shown upfront, so that the film does not end in a negative note. Cannot have an inspirational movie about a sports icon losing a game now can we. The movie ends with a punch. A Pakistani General awarding him the title of ‘The Flying Sikh’. That is such a big thing, because of the history of the two nations and also because of his history with that place. So yes, the movie ends on that note. I appreciate that, but lot of things could have been edited. In between I felt the need to sleep off and I was sure that if I wake up after a few minutes, I would still get the story (it was sort of like the daily mega serials – which I do not watch). That feeling could have been avoided. His whole history is shown as a flashback where his early coach is explaining it. 

At times, too much of inspirational songs also becomes tiring to hear. In this movie, whenever he runs there is a song. It is a good movie, no doubt about it. And I really appreciate the effort put in it, because it can be a confidence booster to a lot of people. You would never know how a story of a person who struggled against all odds can inspire someone even in a remote place and who knows, they might go win the next Olympic medal for India (which we really need). We need these movies from time to time. But it should have been within a proper time frame. Here the movie is shared between his personal trauma (during the Partition) and his struggle to win in the competitions. Also packed in between is a love story and an affair and a near attempt. And finally till the end, he isn’t shown as married. I have no clue why the Havan song got recognized. Actually none of the songs stayed with me. It went well with the scene. Standalone, they did not impress me that well. 

For a movie about the fastest runner, it was moving very slowly. Irony, irony. It was like the scene where Milkha is made to add weights to his leg and asked to run. The movie was also like that. One other inspirational yet fictional movie which really did deliver was ‘Chak De India‘. It is wrong to compare that with this, but in terms of inspiration, I think that movie scored for me. This is a real story about a real person and I would have loved to watch it with some more editing done and because of this being the real story of a time when corruption was at its least, we don’t see any political motives, backstabbing or anything like that happening at a larger scale. Thank God for that. 

I know I criticized a lot about this movie, but it is still a good one to watch. 

9 thoughts on “Run Milkha Run – A Slow Runner

  1. Thank you for sharing that. I have *very* little knowledge of India as a whole, so it was nice to read about Milkha Singh, and “Chak De India. I have no idea what the Partition is, and need to look it up, of course. Gandhi is one of my heroes. He transcends all cultures and religions. I had an artist friend who did a beautiful charcoal sketch of Gandhi, Martain Luther King, and a white woman with a baby. My artist friend is black, that is an important part of the picture, honest. I wish you could see it, I wish I had it. It is one of the most inspiring pictures I have ever seen. Thank you for educating me.

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    1. Thanks a lot for the comment. I would like to see the picture whenever you are able to get it. Yes, Gandhi being the simple man he was, reached the whole world with a simple message: ‘non-violence’. It is really amazing.

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          1. Yes, and I wish I were a good enough artist to at least attempt a representation of it. But, alas, my drawing skills are not up to that yet, and may never be, although, much to my surprise, I am teaching myself to draw, where before I thought that would never be possible in my world. God is indeed good.

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