Posts Tagged ‘farhan akhtar’

bmb_titleI was in for a wonderful treat on the Sunday morning.

Yes, totally loved Bhaag Milkha Bhaag for many reasons!

I was reminded of ‘Chariots of Fire’, a film I had seen many years back, but which remains one of my favourite films till date. There is a certain excitement about stories based around sport, and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, is of course, in that genre. The sweat and toil, the determination, the hard work, the competitiveness, the rivalry, all of these are emotional elements and they draw the audience in.

At the outset, here was an extremely talented team at work!

Starting with the director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, one of the sharpest and most talented young filmmakers in Indian cinema today. I had found his first venture, Aks, to be a very interesting experiment. And then of course, Rang De Basanti was an iconic film. I had liked his next one, Dilli 6 also. So this one comes as yet another great piece of work by the young man. bmb_rom

His partner in crime from RDB and Dilli-6, Prasoon Joshi is very much present here as well!

He takes care of a super story, screenplay, dialogs and lyrics. His brilliance shows in all of these aspects!

Binod Pradhan does a fabulous job with the camera, especially on some scenes filmed in Ladakh. Shankar Ehsaan Loy put together a very credible composition for the times when the story has been based.

That’s an awesome team working at the back.

Of course, the one hero is the original story, and the man himself, the Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh!

It is amazing to see and note the life that he lived.

A child of the partition days, he saw the extreme pain and angst of separation, was brought up in very tough environs, took to stealing coal to make some money, and from that kind of background, emerged to be one of the best athletes that India have produced, and perhaps one of the best sportspersons that India has every produced. Now that’s quite a rollercoaster of a life!

Kudos to Farhan Akhtar for delivering Milkha Singh to us!


His is an absolutely brilliant performance. He has clearly put in massive effort to get it right. From the physical development, to the running style, the look, the accent, the Punjabi language, the dancing.. everything. And he delivers well on all of these. Clearly, he seems to be the perfect fit for this role.

Some great shots he delivers include the extreme face crunching pain that he feels as he runs hard on the tracks, or when (the many times) he falls and gets hurt, or his scenes with his sister, or the time when he returns back to his old home in Pakistan, or when he comes back with his medals and gives a medal to his first coach and falls at his feet, etc. etc. All great scenes, very well acted!!

There are good supporting performances from Pawan Malhotra and Yograj Singh as the coaches, and Divya Dutta as Milkha’s elder sister.

Divya Dutta and Pawan Malhotra were in Rakeysh’s Dilli-6 too, and are also two really good supporting actors, who leave their mark, even in short roles.

Sonam does not have much of a role in the film.

The young boy who plays Milkha Singh as a child also delivers a fantastic performance.

It was very interesting to see the country glued on to the radio when Milkha Singh was taking on his Pakistani counterpart, and when he emerges winner, the kind of celebrations that India witnesses, were bigger than what we see these days, when India beats Pakistan in a cricket match!

Overall, Milkha Singh’s story is told very well, in interspersed flashbacks, in almost a similar way that Mehra had mixed the characters and story of India’s pre-independence revolution with modern day characters in Rang De Basanti.

In summary, this is clearly the best film to be released so far in 2013. There is a good chance that the Best Director award for the year is already decided in favour of Mehra, and even if that were to be in doubt, rest assured that the Best Actor award’s a taken now! Others will be competing for 2nd place to Farhan Akhtar.

Not about the movie, but here are some life lessons that one picks up from the movie:

1. Sometimes there is a deep rooted event or incident that provides the maximum motivation / drive

2. Everyone could screw up. Recognise what’s happened, refocus, ensure elimination of the screwup factor, and dedicate yourself back to the motive

3. It’s all about FOCUS.

4.There are no short cuts in life. Hard work, dedication, obsession about one’s goals.. that’s what it takes to succeed.

5. A good coach makes a huge difference

6. A good coach will drive you to your limits, as he knows what you are capable of, and wants you to deliver it all

7. You need to consciously switch OFF your distractions if you want to get your ultimate goal

Go, see Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.. !



The dialog goes, “Don ko pakadna mushkil nahin..”

Yes, correct. On the first weekend, at the 7 pm show, the theatre was empty. So yes, it’s not difficult to catch Don 2.

Except nobody wants to!! And with good reason.. word has already got out that Don 2 is avoidable fare. It was my mistake to land up in the theatre, and watch it!!

Some thoughts on this film:

  • When Farhan Akhtar made the first Don, he used Shahrukh Khan as the hero, and Shahrukh was already a ‘senior’ by then; so when few years later, when Farhan makes the sequel, this hero has become even older! And just does not look impressive as the Don!
  • Maybe it was to overcome the age factor that Farhan decided to make SRK ultra thin. It just backfires. He looks like a wimp. Imagine that kind of a weak look, and yet he’s supposed to be taking on hulks in multiple numbers, with his bare hands! Just doesn’t cut. A clenched jaw does not make up for the weak looking body and the short frame!
  • Amitabh as Don was impressive because of the multitude of factors – deep voice, expressive eyes, the angry look, and of course, the height. SRK can’t come close, with his hee-haw, boring and monotonous style.
  • In fact, Priyanka looks far more impressive, including in her fight scenes
  • So Farhan does go all out in terms of the locales and the style and the cinematography. If the world had not become small, and if we were not seeing enough high quality Hollywood movies with similar or better style, this would have been enough to make for a good film
  • However, that is not the case now. Style is what we get in Hollywood flicks. And while it is good to have, it is not adequate to make a film successful. More substance is necessary. Which Don 2 is sadly lacking!
  • The plot itself is weak. An elaborate charade is planned, but just not tightly enough. Too much Bollywood-esque magic ultimately, rather than a well thought out and tight drama. Also at the end, too much of the story, just given as a quick ‘explanation’. When they see so many good Hollywood dramas that pack a ‘keep-you-in-your-seat-staring-at-your-screen’ drama, why can’t they write something equally engaging?! I am surprised..
  • Shahrukh Khan has been an amazingly successful star. But is he all of ONE style? The same hee-haw way of talking? Does he not have range?? I am just getting sick of watching him on screen. Or even watching his reruns on TV. I avoided seeing Ra-one, but somehow got suckered into the theatre for this one. But will think not twice, but 4-5 times before I go for the next SRK flick!!

Overall, Don 2 is a no-no. Avoidable. Don’t waste your time or money. I already did mine.. save yours 🙂

When I read this article about Vishal Bhardwaj in The Mint (Lounge), I was inspired to share the following thoughts:

It seemed like 4 good movies had released this weekend, two in Hindi and two in English. Soon we started hearing so-so reviews of Teen Patti and decent reviews of Karthik Calling Karthik.

So having come back from the sale at Shoppers Stop, and the wife having got her new Bausch and Lomb lenses, as we were contemplating getting the walls repainted with Asian Paints Royal Touch paints, we decided to go ahead and see Karthik Calling Karthik after all.

The titles gave hope. The great combination of Farhan Akhtar, Javed Akhtar, Shankar Ehsan Loy was together again, and that should be good. Once the film started, one of the first things I noticed was the Rubik’s cube. In fact, the cube had a big part in the story, after all! Without any dialogues of course.

Realized that Rubik’s cube seems to be the new “k” symbof for the film industry. The way, Sunita Menon had got everyone starting projects with letter ‘k’, it appears that everyone is now inclined to have a Rubik’s cube in the scene, perhaps for luck. Aamir had it in 3 Idiots, and we know how big that film went. Then Shah Rukh Khan had it with him in MNIK. If claims are to be believed, that one has also gone some distance.

Farhan must have thought that the cube will rescue him too. Unfortunately, the link has been broken now. The cube did not work, after all!

By the way, on the first Sunday for the film, at a prime time show, the theatre was just about 20% full. So business is down, for sure. And the film showed the reason why.

The first half actually was quite breezy. The rising up of the underdog, and his becoming a hero. Usually an entire film is devoted to a story of this type. As I sat and saw the story fly in that first half, that was exactly the question in my mind. What will happen now? The story is already at a point of “happily ever after”. Now what could happen?

As it turned out, not much happened anyway, after the break. The story meandered into some incredulous areas, and it was a dull and boring part most of that second half. Irrespective of where the story went, the subject line was not that gripping to hold the audience’s attention on that one tiny thread, for so long. The end was also quite lame, after all.

So what is the judgement after all? The film is ordinary. The first half is still fine. Quite breezy. Some good banter, in terms of smart dialogues. Decent performances by Farhan and the ravishing Deepika. That’s it, though.

If you must see a Hindi film this weekend, this should still be better than Teen Patti. So go see it. And if you can do without your weekly dose of Hindi films, you will be fine giving this one a skip too.

Oh, even though the phone was an integral part of the story, no telecom brand would have liked to associate. If anything, the film would have led to reduced call usage, and led to lower ARPUs for the telecom brands.

Take care.. Regards – sanjay