A very well made movie by an ace director and a wonderful actor featuring the life of an ace Indian runner and Olympian Milkha Singh, 'The Flying Sikh'. Rakeysh has managed to show the athlete's childhood, upbringing, stints with love, struggle, training, losses and victories (both in sports and conquering the dark corner in the heart) beautifully without making it cumbersome and boring. The movie constantly shuffles between past, further past and present, but due to smart editing and direction, the final impact is not confusing but good. In fact, 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' is one of the best edited Indian film in spite of its duration of 3 hours and 9 minutes!
Any movie that covers the partition era is bound to have scenes entailing - mass massacre, bloodshed, loss of loved ones, children turning orphan, fear and trauma amongst civilians, violation of women etc. And for this very reason, many of us like to distance ourselves from such movies as it is very disturbing to watch such depictions again and again. All brownie points should be awarded to the makers of the movie to show it all, but in bits and pieces and with such adaptations that as an audience you tend to get the right message without cringing in your seat!
Dark corners created in our hearts during childhood are the most difficult ones to bear and cure and they haunt us throughout our lives effecting our participation and success in one or the other way. Curing such a devious dark corner is the focal point of this movie and it has been executed very effectively.
Hats off to Farhan Akhtar for pulling off such a difficult role i.e. a role that demanded the physicality of an ace athlete and expressions of a rustic north westerner who is not well educated, has seen the trauma and pain of partition of India and Pakistan and still has managed to transform himself into a gold medalist in spite of various barriers thrown in his way. It is difficult to imagine that Farhan is the same man who started his film career by directing the quintessential metro guy flick 'Dil Chahta Hai'. It goes without saying that this lad has grown miles and bounds as an actor as well as a person.
Actingwise, apart from Farhan, Divya Dutta and Pawan Malhotra have done very good job. Divya has simply stood out as the selfless motherly sister who simply adores her kid brother 'Milkha' and silently bears the struggles and exploitations of life suffered by the women of that era who had to bear the losses of partition as well as boisterous (read domestic violence) nature of their husbands. Pawan has also stood out as the loving and inspiring army officer who had a great hand in the making of 'Milkha'. He is very natural in emoting the expressions of judgement, pain, pride, kindness, victory etc.