Film Review: "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" An Entertaining Sports Drama, But Falls Short In End
Indian Olympic running legend MILKHA SINGH -- otherwise known as the Flying Sikh -- "gets the lavish biopic treatment" in a new film called "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag," according to Scott Foundas of VARIETY. The film is "a rousing and handsomely crafted sports drama that’s on sure footing when it sticks to the track, but falls short of its ambitions to turn Singh’s life into a metaphor for fraught Indo-Pakistani relations in the years following the 1947 Partition." Singh, who reportedly sold his life rights to the filmmakers for the sum of 1 rupee ($0.02), is "something of an irresistible figure, both for his athletic prowess and for a life marked by twists of fate and fortune straight out of fiction." Bhaag Milkha Bhaag opens on one such moment -- the 1960 Rome Olympics, where "the heavily favorite Singh ended up placing fourth in his signature race" (the 400m) -- then flashes back to Singh’s childhood and adolescence, where Dir RAKEYSH OMPRAKASH MEHRA and screenwriter PRASOON JOSHI (“Delhi 6”) "set about unpacking the personal demons they believe haunted" Singh as he made his run for the Gold. It is an "unapologetically Freudian approach that frequently circles back to the violent events of the Partition, during which the Sikh Singh and his family found themselves on the Pakistan side of the newly drawn national border" (VARIETY, 7/12).