Shah Rukh Khan
No Record Found.
Budhia Singh, the wonder kid, was introduced to us by some stupendous media coverage over a decade back. At merely 4 years of age he was running marathons. At 5 years he became the youngest ever to complete a full marathon. And then he disappeared;and along with him a promise that India could finally have a marathon runner in the Olympic soon. Multiple things went wrong, from political will to personal ambitions.
A decade later Budhia Singh resurfaces, and this time through a biopic that tells his story. And Budhia Singh Born To Run does not let you down. Not a bit.
Keeping the screenplay linear, the director takes us through 19 months of Budhia’s life. The period in which he was discovered by coach Biranchi Das then trained to run. In those months the toddler went on to complete several long distance runs, including his last when he covered a record 65 kilometers. And all this while the two, coach and protégé, faced tremendous political pressure despite massive goodwill. Budhia had already become a star.
Budhia Singh Born to Run is not just a story about Budhia. It is as much as story of Biranchi Das, the man who single-mindedly worked towards making the child a better runner. And in process he almost became obsessed to a degree where he easily came across as insensitive and an exploiter. The good part of the film is that it does not shy away from showing this side of Biranchi Das. It raised questions on his motives as well. Of course a lot many fingers are raised at the government for having let down one of India’s brightest chances in world of athletics.
The screenplay written by Soumnedra Padhi, who is also the director, never loses grip. It gets the audience into the story with the first shot and when the interval happens you wish it had not. The second half picks up right where the first half ended and there is no loss of pace.
Budhia Singh Born To Run is a near perfect film. From screenplay to casting to execution. It has been shot beautifully, never for once looking like a small film.
And it is backed by fantastic performances from all actors. Manoj Bajpayee is scintillating. The star is the young Mayur Patole, who plays Budhia. He does not falter and glides with the entire film on his shoulders. Also Tillotama Shome as Budhia’s mother and Shruti Marathe as Biranchi’s wife Geeta offer fine acts.
Budhia Singh Born To Run could have not been released at a better time – one day before Rio Olympics starts. The Olympics that Biranchi Das wanted Budhia to participate in. He did not make it but India still has 107 hopes.
And that is just one small reason to watch it watch this film. Winner of National Award for Best Children’s Film this year. Budhia Singh Born To Run has plenty more reasons. It will take you through a roller coaster of emotions, from laughter to tears, from hope to despair.
By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
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