A veteran sports journalist recently stated that the 13-year-old Budhia Singh, who was once (9 years back) considered as the pride of Orissa, “cannot even complete his school race” these days- thanks to the reduction in his training from being rigorous and strict to being an ordinary one.
And that’s exactly what Soumendra Padhi’s ‘Budhia Singh - Born To Run’ is all about- a wronged man, and his un-shattered belief in a 5-year-old child.
Star Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Patole, Gajraj Rao, Shruti Marathe, Tillotama Shome and Chhaya Kadam
Director: Soumendra Padhi
Producer: Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Code Red Films
Claps For: Performances, Direction, Background Score, Cinematography and Dialogues
Slaps For: Nothing
What’s New: A sports film minus the melodrama
Popcorn Refill: Strictly Interval
Plot: Biranchi Das runs a Judo Training Centre where he and his wife Gita shelter and trains orphan kids. He decides to train the latest kid in his centre, 3 year old Budhia Singh, in running for marathons after realizing the immense potential he has got.
Biranchi dreams to make Budhia India’s Olympic hero but, his rigorous training regime to the 4 year old child irks a few people at the Children’s Welfare officials, leading to a ban on Budhia from participating in any marathon.
Performances: The title of this review says it all- Manoj Bajpayee and Mayur Patole Are Born To Act!
Here’s another heart-winning performance by Manoj Bajpayee, after his ‘Aligarh’, as the stern teacher who acts as a guide to his kids, and makes it his aim to train Budhia to make him worthy of participating as well as winning at the Olympics. He lets you judge his character, and with every scene he makes sure you get to see a new side of Biranchi Das (kudos to the brilliant writing that brings out every aspect of his character).
It won’t be wrong to say that Bajpayee brings Biranchi back to life on-screen.
On the other hand, there’s the little surprise package Mayur Patole. Let’s be honest- Bollywood films usually use kids to bring in the “cuteness factor” rather than making them act. But ‘Budhia Singh – Born To Run’ proves to be an exception, and introduces us to the amazingly talented Patole who nails it every time he is on-screen.
And why just Mayur? Every child in the film will bring a smile on your face. And kudos to Padhi and his team for wonderfully capturing the innocence and the mischievous side of the kids!
While Tillotama Shome lends a good support to movie as Budhia’s gullible mother, Shruti Marathe is impressive as Bajpayee’s wife. Gajraj Rao, on the other hand, is at his usual best.
Another performer who deserves special mention is Chhaya Kadam!
Direction: It’s hard to believe that ‘Budhia Singh - Born To Run’ is Soumendra Padhi’s first film as a feature-film director!
Here’s a wonderfully executed movie that never loses its grip despite being at its delightful best in the first half and going through dramatic highs and lows during the second half.
Neither does the film take the commercial potboiler route, nor does it tread on the path that would get it the tag of an ‘Art’ film. It is Padhi’s simple treatment to the story, without trying to be loud or glorify anyone (like usual sports films in Bollywood do) that makes this film worth every penny and worth the watch.
An intriguing tale that will make you smile, make you root for Budhia and Biranchi Das, that will make you ponder over what’s right and what’s wrong, and will leave you with most eyes in the end- this one’s surely not to be missed!
Combo-On-Offer: Sports + Drama
Verdict: We give ‘Budhia Singh - Born To Run’ THUNDEROUS CLAPS for being a delightful and intriguing sports flick that has been wonderfully directed and boasts of terrific performances by all, especially Manoj Bajpayee and Mayur Patole.