There were athletes who ran races, and then there came one who flew… to glory!
Milkha Singh’s story is one that inspires, touches, and propels one to take up all possible challenges and make their chance into an opportunity. Having gone through not one but many hurdles in life, Milkha Singh emerged as a superhero of the racing track. So fast was he, that it looked like he was not running but flying, one who witnessed him on the race track would think it was probably just a gale not a man – hawa ka rukh, in simpler terms. His speed however earned him the name – The Flying Sikh.
Live it up while you’re alive – a message that runs as a strong undercurrent throughout the film, and becomes even more evident through the popular motivational song, Zinda, the lyrics are true pearls of wisdom in the words of Prasoon Joshi, transformed musically by the musician-trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Milkha Singh was only 12 years-old when he witnessed the brutal murder of his whole family during the Partition of India. His pain and suffering however, did not waver him from achieving his goal, like Arjuna in The Mahabharata never lost sight of the bird’s eye while Dronacharya spoke to him, and his brother and cousins were nonplussed at having to find their aim.
This Friday, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag shall hit the theaters. The title perhaps seems obvious for a biopic based on an athlete who did India proud at the Olympics and multiple races on a National and International level. However, it is a little-known fact that these three words were the last mouthed by Milkha Singh’s father. The significance of the title increases manifold right there.
To know that after multiple tries by many directors, only Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’s director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra had the opportunity to make this film, is perhaps one prime reason to watch this film. Despite being a biopic and the story being based on true events from the athlete’s life, the film is still the Director’s vision – from the brain who’s given us award-winning films in the past – Rang De Basanti being the best known example. That film shall remain a favorite amongst everyone who’s watched it.
According to Farhan Akhtar, all the actors who worked on getting this film together, were apt for the role because they make their characters very believable. It is true when they say that if the right people are engaged for the job, the performance is always great. Farhan sure has worked very hard in attaining the body he sports for this role. He also said that the difficult task didn’t seem so daunting since he was highly inspired by the story and motivated by the purpose of it, hence getting into the character was challenging, but at no point did it feel that it was a vain effort.
For the actor, Milkha Singh is a man with an indomitable spirit, which we totally vouch for. What remains to be seen now is how this real-life hero’s spirit settles into the reel-life hero’s character and intent on screen.