‘Budhia Singh – Born to Run’ movie review: A soaring victory for cinema
Directed by: Soumendra Padhi
Produced by: Code Red Films
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Patole, Tillotama Shome
Duration: 2 hours 10 minute
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 4/5
Firstly, a humble plea to the Government of India to revoke the ban over real life marathon champion, Budhia Singh participating in Olympics. Let him run free and make India proud.
Secondly, hats off to writer-director Soumendra Padhi’s for making a film, ‘Budhia Singh – Born To Run‘, that wins on all counts, be it great storytelling, or bringing to light the pathos of a born winner who is forced to stay away from doing the only thing he knows best – to run.
Thirdly, this film should be made tax free, and a compulsory viewing for everybody, especially children.
Films about and for children are a rarity in Bollywood, and ‘Budhia Singh – Born To Run’, is a fantastic addition to this genre. Kudos to the director for managing to find the child actor, Mayur Mahendra Patole – this kid acts way better than most of the actors in Bollywood can. Also, it will only be fair to say that in between ‘Aligarh’ and ‘Budhia Singh – Born To Run’, all the critics’ award for the best male actor will be deservedly given to Manoj Bajpayee – he seems to be getting better at his craft with each film. A film like this can fall flat on its face if the casting is wrong, but here the casting director has pulled off something that’s almost a miracle.
The trailer of Budhia Singh – Born To Run is slightly misleading – as much as the film is about the child prodigy, it is as much (if not more) about his coach, Biranchi Das (Bajpayee) as well. Biranchi is a kind hearted and well-respected Judo trainer, who gives shelter to needy children and trains them in Judo. In one of his good karma trips at some slum in Odisha, he ends up rescuing Budhia, and gets him home. Budhia’s mother, Sukanti (played by the brilliant Tilottama Shome) doesn’t care much about her son, as we see that she has coldly sold him off to an uncouth drunkard for Rs. 850. This is when you already know that this evil woman, perhaps because of her poverty, will strike once again. No spoilers here.
Once Budhia becomes a part of the rag-tag Biranchi family, his skill to run endlessly comes to the notice of Biranchi, who decides that he will make a legend of his protege. Biranchi trains Budhia to the point where his intentions become doubtful, and he is questioned by the media. Here lies the beauty of the writing in this film inspired by real events – as an audience your heart goes out to little Budhia, and you feel some hatred for Biranchi for pushing the little child so hard. But when you see that Budhia is the happiest when he is running, you feel like giving a big hug to Biranchi for all his efforts.
It is hard to believe that this is the debut film of writer-director Soumendra Padhi – it is difficult to point out one false note throughout the runtime which is perhaps even less than two hours. The interval point will ensure that you are back at your seat well in advance. The ending might break your heart, but there is hope – if the ban on the real life Budhia Singh is revoked, it will be a victory of humanity as well. To conclude, Budhia Singh – Born To Run, is an amazing film that should be widely watched, and appreciated for the intention and the craft of everybody involved. A special mention for the stunning actress Shruti Marathe (Biranchi’s wife), cinematography by Manoj Kumar Khatoi and the brisk editing credited to Shivkumar V. Panicker.
Do watch this gem of a film, and please do remember to spread the word using #BudhiaForOlympics on your social media platforms. ‘Budhia Singh – Born To Run’ is a film that deserves all the success at the box office, and the critical appreciation as well. More power to filmmakers like Soumendra Padhi, they make our cinema proud and how! Do watch this film, and share your views about it in the comments’ section.