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Jawaharlal Nehru (Dalip Tahil), the prime minister, convinces him to lead the Indian team in Pakistan for a friendly race with Abdul Khaliq (Dev Gill), also known as the fastest man of Asia.
In Pakistan he misses the press conference and goes to his village where, in a flashback, it is shown how his parents were murdered and the last words of his father were "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag!
Along the way, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” devotes extended episodes to Singh’s post-Partition life in a Delhi refugee camp, where he is reunited with his devoted elder sister, Isri (the superb Divya Dutta), and to his years as an army cadet, where he first discovers his gift for speed.
Even then, Singh is still something of a village bumpkin surrounded by more sophisticated city types, and Akhtar is especially good at playing this wide-eyed naif, who, in one spectacularly misjudged move, “borrows” the embroidered national team blazer of a visiting track star, who in turn gives Singh a brutal lashing.
Boasting an appealing lead performance by director-turned-actor Farhan Akhtar and sturdy direction by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (who explored similar themes of personal and national identity in his 2006 “Rang de basanti”), this global July 12 release should post solid returns for producer Viacom 18, if somewhat less than portended by the pic’s high degree of advance hype.
Singh, who reportedly sold his life rights to the filmmakers for the sum of 1 rupee, 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 Summer Olympics in Rome, where the heavily favorite Singh ended up placing fourth in his signature race (the 400 meters) — then flashes back to Singh’s childhood and adolescence, where 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’s 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.
Since there must be a romance, Singh enters into an on-again, off-again flirtation with the beautiful village girl Biro (Sonam Kapoor), though she never quite materializes as a three-dimensional character and somewhat abruptly disappears in the third act.
Overlong even by Bollywood norms, the three-hour-plus pic also spends undue time on the dalliance between Singh and the comely daughter (Rebecca Breeds) of an Australian running coach during training for the 1956 Melbourne Games; dewy-eyed walks on the beach ensue, as well as what may be film history’s most unlikely line-dancing, country-western production number (a misfire in the otherwise fine song score by the popular team of Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy).
The story is based on the life of Milkha Singh, an Indian athlete who was a national champion runner and an Olympian.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating