Budhia Singh – Born to Run

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Budhia Singh – Born to Run
Budhia Singh – Born to Run
“BUDHIA SINGH – Born to Run” is heartfelt and engaging!
Backed by extraordinary performances from Manoj Bajpayee and the little Mayur Patole, this true story is narrated in an effective and thought-provoking manner. While bringing to light the story of the marvel-child, it also harps on the satire of dirty politics that feeds on the success of national heroes. It’s only the amplified drama and restricted compassing of the subject that’s a bit of a let-down. Nevertheless, definitely worth a watch this weekend!
This biographical sports film directed by Soumendra Padhi is based on the wonder boy Budhia Singh, who ran 48 marathons, when he was only five-year-old. Born next to a railway track, Budhia Singh was sold at the age of 5 by his impoverished mother to a street hawker. Budhia is then rescued by a concerned local judo coach Biranchi Das, who accidentally discovers his talent for running. Biranchi adopts the child and then embarks on a mission to turn Budhia into a running phenomenon. Within six months, Budhia ran twenty half-marathons, and within a year, he had run 48 full Marathons. With the world's eyes on them and an international storm brewing, the Indian government decides to intervene, accusing the coach of cruelty, leading to an opportunistic tug of war over Budhia's control.
“Budhia Singh - Born to run” which was earlier titled DURONTO, is also the winner of the National Award for Best Children Film this year. What’s most interesting in this real-life drama is the simplicity with which each instance is portrayed. The lead characters are well-sketched and director Padhi makes sure the film garners your rapt attention throughout. Crisply edited well within 2 hours, the film involves you completely. His training is absorbing and his achievements inspire every bit in you. The progress of Budhia is well laid out and so is the petty political drama that surrounds the limelight that Budhia hogs. Satirical in the way it displays the political circus that jumps into anything that’s making news, the film is thought-provoking in more ways than one.
Despite all this matter rolled into one single film, the problem lies in the surface-level screenplay. It invokes several questions, but hardly provides any answers. Scratch the surface and you’ll find great depths that this subject could’ve offered. It’s laudable how the film touches upon important issues while celebrating the success story of the little wonder-boy, but I feel it could’ve dug a little deeper, providing an insight into the mind of the little Budhia with all this mega-scale drama happening aound him. At the same time, leaving the story at a juncture without making a point also was an easy way out for the makers.
These problems apart, the film has some extremely impressive performances to talk about. Manoj Bajpayee’s nuanced performance is so natural, that you just can’t help but invest in him emotionally. His effortless portrayal deserves all the praises he’s getting and more. A round of applause is also warranted for the child Mayur Patole, who makes you believe you’re watching the real Budhia on-screen. The supporting characters do well, but suffer from heavy handed writing for their parts.
In all, “BUDHIA SINGH – Born To Run” is both inspiring and dark, and makes for a riveting watch with its exceptional performances and respectable sensibilities. Go for it!

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