Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

I had goosebumps since the first scene when Farhaan Akhtar walks into the stadium in Rome as Milkha Singh, known as Flying Sikh. From then on, the film ran for me and how! Yes, I liked the film! More than the film, it was the extremely talented Farhaan Akhtar who stole the show. He is almost an embodiment of all that the legend was, every bit in the film – physically and mentally. His physical transformation has been unbelievable! I had condemned people who had put facebook status like please send Farhaan Akhtar for Olympics next time around for running. But after I saw the film and the way the actor has run, I too felt the same! The screenplay is slightly complicated and some aspects have been made very simplistic. The one aspect I didn’t like was Dalip Tahil as Pandit Nehru. And I felt sad when Milkha Singh loses the podium by a whisker in Rome Olympics. The length too could have been a bit short, but then the sporting legend’s story definitely deserves that much time. Right from the time a young Milkha Singh had to leave his village during the tumultuous time of partition to the first time he valiantly competes with a national sprinter at a training academy, everything has been well crafted. Rather, Farhaan Akhtar’s convincing performance has added that credibility to the saga of flying Sikh. Compassion, Pain, determination, anger, remorse, helplessness, insecurity and the attitude of being happy-go-lucky – the lead actor emotes these sentiments exceedingly well.

The lead actor’s histrionics are supported superbly by Divya Dutta and Pawan Malhotra who play his sister and coach respectively. These two actors have delivered an excellent performance. Even though their characters had the scope to go overboard with emotions, neither of them has let that happen. And the fact that they have not let that happen has made the impact. The background score, music and lyrics have beautifully complemented the story. Siddharth Mahadevan makes a mark with ‘Zinda’ and how! ‘O Rangrez’ is a beautiful rendition by Shreya Ghoshal and Javed Bashir. The title track too is excellent. Basically, Shankar Ehsan Loy have done a great job! ‘Slow motion Angreza’ and ‘Havan Karenge’ makes you marvel (once again) at the lead actor’s effortless dancing skills.
All in all, an inspiring experience of a legend who deserved more credit and applause than he actually got. The film I am sure will take his story to every self respecting, honest and hardworking Indian. Thanks FA and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra for giving us a glimpse of this legend’s exemplary saga of success and failure.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Indian Cricket - Youth Brigade Unleashed!

Yes, it is been a week since India won the ICC Champions Trophy, much like a breeze. It never seemed for a moment that India was not a potential contender for the crown. Right from the practice matches to the final against England, India was always in the hunt for the crown. Dhoni, sporting salt and pepper hair and stubble can now definitely say even at this age that ‘yeh baal aivin safed nahi huye – ICC World Cup, T-20 World Cup aur ICC Champions Trophy – I have all that on my kitty. Truly enough, Dhoni’s astute captaincy and immaculate reading of the game has paid rich dividends. He has also got a fantastic support from the team which is brimming with youth, enthusiasm and adequate aggression. The likes of Kohli, Raina, Jadeja, Dinesh Kartik, Rohit Sharma and Dhawan have imparted the much needed edge to the fielding and even batting. Captain cool almost always has an answer to tough situations the team gets into. Yes, his decisions sometimes have drawn flak and serious critique sometimes. But he stoically stood by them and has made India proud.

Cricket gurus have already raved about this new and super improved team. Sure enough this team looks like a very good contender for the World Cup next year. If the performance in the ICC Champions trophy is anything to go by, the team atleast is shaping up well for the ultimate cricketing battle. There are however, a number of other tournaments before that. India would have to perform equally well in those to keep their morale high and get used to the winning streak.  Just like a lot of Indians, I am extremely glad the way the team has shaped up. Dhoni has marshaled his forces extremely well. Inspite of all the horrible controversies shrouding the purity and sportsman spirit, the team kept it all aside and gave its best. The rain definitely played a spoilsport in a lot of matches. But that was not enough to deter India from winning all the matches. This win and the demeanour of this new, aggressive team India has surely heralded a promising era in Indian cricket. Kudos to Dhoni and Co!