‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, Continues Success at the International Box Office
Indian Cinema’s epic biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag opened on Friday, 12th July 2013 to a flurry of positive reviews and overwhelming praise from the cinema fraternity, international celebrities, sports stars and fans alike. The film became the third highest opener in India of 2013 and has entered the UK’s Top 10 Box Office charts.
Given the film’s transient storyline and its connect with Global Diasporas, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has been appreciated by international celebrities and film critics, receiving rave reviews. The former American track and field star Carl Lewis was so deeply moved after watching the biopic, that he telephoned Olympian Milkha Singh (whose amazing life story is the inspiration for the film) to convey his appreciation.
Speaking about the momentous moment, the film’s director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra said: ‘Yes, Carl Lewis indeed rang up Milkha Singh after seeing the film. We all hoped Milkhaji's lifestory would make an inspirational impact. But we never imagined the impact would be so widespread.’
Another megastar keen to also express his appreciation and admiration for the film is Amitabh Bachchan. The Indian cinema legend wrote on his blog site:
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or Run Milkha Run is the true life story of one of the greatest athletes of India, in his prime during the late 50’s and 60’s he broke the world record in the 400 meters … but there is so much more to him and this story of his life that is simply amazing … and Farhan Akhtar who has lived his role in the film is just unbelievable. The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast including Australian actress Rebecca Breeds.
‘This is an extraordinary film, and made with equal aplomb and measure. The story of Milkha Singh is legend now, but to see it relived in today’s time was an unbelievable experience.
‘But for now I just want to come away from all those memories and allow my brain to rest and take in what I have seen in the film … the determination and effort of one individual, that has now become a landmark event in the history of the country.’
The film, which received strong word of mouth endorsement, has also garnered good feedback from film critics and trade analysts. Film industry experts have said that the synergy in the story is subliminal and Farhan [Akhtar] has got so well under the skin of Milkha's character that it seems he occupies the champion's mind, body and soul.
Taran Adarsh says: ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag did remarkable business in the key international markets’.
Gaining sound press coverage too, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has received positive reviews:
The Hollywood Reporter wrote: ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run Milkha Run) triumphs in its depiction of a man coming to terms with the ugliest scenes from his childhood, witnessing his parents’ slaughter during the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and the resultant genocide, and rebuilding his life to become an Indian icon.’
Digital Spy wrote: ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag evokes every possible emotion in the viewer as you are swept along on Milkha's tumultuous journey – and somehow changed by the experience. Farhan Akhtar is exemplary in the role of a lifetime. He wears the character of Milkha like a second skin, his cheeky impudence, his defiance and his determination inspire and charm you all at once.’
LA Times said the “stirring biography” was “beautifully shot”.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is the portrayal of iconic Indian athlete Milkha Singh's life. It is a portrait of professional triumph over personal tragedy. The film attempts to understand a catastrophic loss that was deemed a sure victory and explores through the darkness of disgrace Milkha Singh’s redemption and catharsis that came when he confronted his past.
This iridescent tale winds through the plagues of a bloody civil war where Milkha's family were brutally killed during the tumultuous India-Pakistan Partition era resulting in a lost childhood, homelessness, a life of petty crime, right through to victories hard won and easily lost. The film draws an intricate image of human trials, setbacks and fate leveraged against the sheer power of will as Milkha Singh evocatively illustrates that true victory lies in racing with one’s troubles and not in running away from them.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is co-produced by Viacom Motion Pictures and ROMP Pictures and is on general release worldwide through Reliance Entertainment.