Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's directorial "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" based on the story of Indian athlete Milkha Singh hit the screens on Friday.
The biopic, which features Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor, has opened to pretty good reviews from critics and celebrities who have already seen the film in a special screening.
"The only race u cant win is the race against ur past. Wot a lovely experience is bhaag Milkha.Thanx Rakyesh & u inspire me my Flying Farhan," Shah Rukh Khan tweeted after watching the special screening of the film.
"Back after seeing trial of 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' and much too moved emotionally and creatively, to say any further on this platform. Still reeling under the spell of 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag," Amitabh Bachchan tweeted.
The biopic is based on the story of "Flying Sikh" Milkha Singh who represented India in the 1960 summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo after losing his family during the partition.
Check out the critics review here:
Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India writes: "A film inspired by the legendary Indian athlete, Milkha Singh's life and journey.
"He doesn't sing for his supper. He runs. Every sinew tugging and rippling to be fed. For that one glass of milk(ha!). He had a choice to run away, or to run. He did the right thing, he ran. Oh yes, the eternal metaphor 'the race of life'. We're all runners. With reason enough? A finish line to shred? Milkha Singh did. He ran his first race for ek glass doodh. And he never stopped. Untiringly. He ran because it was his religion.
"Mehra is brilliant at his craft; he infuses realism into drama, and explores characters so deeply and sensitively through tragedy and triumph, that it sparks an emotional deluge. The movie transitions from flashback sepia tones to moods of present, without losing the grip of emotions, ever.
"Cinematography is ace (Binod Pradhan); the music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) heightens the drama. Prasoon's writing is powerful, lyrics are pure poetry and emotions robustly sweep the scenes with few dialogues. While there's a lot to marvel at, a hint of the director's over-indulgence in the art, results in a long 'runtime' and prolonged scenes that distract.
"Overall, 'BMB' pulsates with the storyteller's sheer passion all the way to the finish line. While you are on-the-run, pause to watch this one."
Subhash K Jha of IANS writes: "Who said life could ever be easy for those who aspire to fly higher than the rest? The beautiful irony of Milkha Singh's life that this consummate biopic captures so ably, is that he really didn't aspire to anything. He ran simply because he had to.
"History is created in several ways. One of them is cinema. And if Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag seems like a near-flawless homage to the flying spirit of India's greatest runner, it is partly because the story, so nimbly woven into a pastiche of drama, emotion, humour and pathos by Prasoon Joshi, is in no hurry to keep pace with the onscreen Milkha's breathless sprint.
"There's no effort here "to tell a story", to create an impression or to whip up a dramatic storm to captivate audiences. The synergy in the storytelling seems subliminal.
"This isn't just a film about a sports person who brought untold glory to our country. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is the story of an individual's journey from nullity to pinnacles of success in a world where politics and violence are constant reminders of how little an individual's aspirations matter in the larger, often murkier scheme.
"I recommend a national holiday for the entire nation to go and see this movie. It makes the other recent high-profile acclaimed films look hopelessly inadequate."
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama writes: "BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG chronicles the life of Indian sprinter Milkha Singh from his childhood to achieving the iconic standing. The film takes you back in time when Milkha lost his family members during the partition and his rise to the celebrated status without any prescribed guidance or monetary backing. Also depicted in this 3-hour+ film are the conquests, the lows, the rise to splendor and distinction, the skilful attainment.
"The supremely talented director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and the proficient writer Prasoon Joshi amass the varied occurrences from the phenomenon's life, although the focus is clearly on the documentation of Milkha's illustrious career, his uphill struggle, impediments, apprehensions and eventual triumph. Besides staying true to Milkha's life and conquests, Mehra and Joshi interweave a spellbinding screenplay that doesn't limit it to being a mere sports-based film.
"Hindi movies offer infrequent opportunities to actors to depict iconic and inspirational characters and Farhan gets the opportunity of portraying the most demanding role of his career so early in his acting vocation.
"On the whole, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG is sure to win accolades, admiration, respect and esteem, besides emerging as a champ. Reserve the applause for Milkha Singh and the team behind BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG. Give it a standing ovation!"
Aseem Chhabra of Rediff.com writes: "Farhan Akhtar is a machine. Watching how he uses each muscle in his body - on his neck, chest, arms, abdomen, legs-- as he runs in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, it is hard to believe that this father of two will turn 40 in exactly six months.
"The sense we get from Mehra's film is that Singh must have been a very likeable person - or at least that is the myth that BMB creates. If there is one reason to see BMB it is to watch Akhtar - how much he has evolved as an actor and the sincerity with which he immerses himself in the character.
"I wish I could find any other reason to recommend Mehra's three-plus hour film that attempts to be an epic, but is really thin in plot and goes in so many different directions before it finally solves the so-called mystery: Why would Milkha Singh not run in Pakistan?
"Mehra's script writer- the very talented lyricist Prasoon Joshi-stuffs the film with segments that seem irrelevant and inconsequential to the larger story.
"I thought Bollywood was moving away from situations where songs or characters - especially comic ones - are forced into the script for the sake of keeping the audience engaged.
"It is clear that Mehra and his team worked very hard to bring the story of Milkha Singh to the screen. There is a lot of research that went into BMB. Although BMB is no Chariots of Fire, the running sequences are quite gripping.
"A well-crafted BMB could have been a good companion piece to the intelligent and tight Paan Singh Tomar, or even a moving (albeit predictable) Chak De India. BMB misses that opportunity."