Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and half stars)

Star Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Mahendra Patole, Tillotama Shome

Director: Soumendra Padhi

Budhia Singh: Born to Run Poster
Budhia Singh: Born to Run Poster

What’s Good: This story of Budhia Singh and his coach Biranchu Das needs recognition. Also, in terms of sports dramas, this one stands out!

What’s Bad: The director’s attempt to show Biranchi Das as a victim of the government which is slightly different from the true man that he was.

Loo Break: You can wait!

Watch or Not?: Formerly titled Duronto (having few stops), Budhia Singh – Born To Run is certainly worth a watch. It is moving, exciting and sad all rolled into one. If you don’t know Budhia Singh, you must watch this!

User Rating:

The film revolves around Odisha’s wonder boy Budhia Singh who took the media by storm in 2005-2006.

Coming from an extremely poor background, after being sold by his mother, Sukanti (Tillotama Shome), for 800 bucks to a bangle maker, Budhia’s life could have been a hell as a lifetime slave. What changed his life was, popular Judo coach Biranchi Das (Manoj Bajpayee). The man who ran a training school as well as an orphanage and made sure to change the future of the underprivileged kids of Odisha, who were otherwise dying of hunger.

After taking Budhia under his shelter, Biranchi tries to discipline the child and as a punishment, asks him to take rounds in the yard. While Biranchi and his wife Geeta (Shruti Marathe) leave for their errands and come back in the eve, the boy keeps running without a halt from morning to evening.

This catches Biranchi’s eye and he is certain that Budhia is God gifted and must be trained for Marathons.

Thus, what leads ahead is Budhia’s training, his exceptional Bhubneshawar-Puri 65 km run and Biranchi’s mysterious end.

Manoj Bajpayee in a still from Budhia Singh: Born to Run
Manoj Bajpayee in a still from Budhia Singh: Born to Run

Budhia Singh: Born to Run Review: Script Analysis

The best part about Soumendra Padhi’s film is that he lays down everything in front of the viewers with a telling approach. He does not give out any answers in the story but certainly leaves you with questions such as did the government really fail to acknowledge a natural talent? Also, it brilliantly embeds the frenzy surrounding the little boy who is actually running for his wants such as shoes and bicycle.

The screenplay is taut and moves smartly from being a sports drama with political twists to a thriller.

The best part about the writing of this film is the way Biranchi’s character sways from being a eccentric coach to also a loving father. The scenes where he is seen taking on the government are cleverly written.

At the very core of this story is the strange relationship between Budhia and Biranchi whom he calls “Sir”. The film beats, as the shades of selfish motives, trust, desperation on the part of Sukanti who gets no slice of her son’s fame unravel in the story.

Footages of sports persons talking about the wonder boy are embedded quite well into the story.

Budhia Singh: Born to Run Review: Star Performance

Manoj Bajpayee should be called as another breed of an actor. He manages it so well to keep the character of Biranchi swaying between the shades of grey to a passionate coach. The actor emotes extremely well and shines in the scene where he comes home after Budhia has been shifted to Government facility for the rest of his life. His portrayal of Biranchi Das gives the film a great deal of depth.

Mayur Patole as the 5 year old, wide-eyed Budhia is lovely. He is convincing as hell and steals your heart in the scene where meets Biranchi at the facility center.

Tillotama Shome has a limited role and dialogues but the actress that she is, she expresses so much with her looks itself.

Chhaya Kadam who plays the Child Welfare head for Odisha does a fabulous job. She is a perfect fit for her role and literally owns the character.

Shruti Marathe and Gajraj Rao too contribute effectively in their roles.

Budhia Singh: Born to Run Review: Direction, Music

Soumendra Padhi’s directorial approach is highly impressive. One has to look through the sidelines to actually understand the story he wants to tell. Taking off with the sorry state that most kids in Odisha are in, he makes you wonder there itself of Biranchi’s approach to make Budhia’s life worth the talent that he has, was any wrong. The fact that he truly could have been India’s shining armour amongst the athletes for the marathon.

Being a visionary is always an uphill task and that’s what the film shows. Not many people could digest Biranchi’s visions, thus leading to his cold blooded murder outside his house. While the case has still not been solved, the director hints at various angles that may have led to his death.

Politics and Sports have deadly mixture in India and it has always incurred losses for those with talents. Through the film, Padhi wishes there to be a reconsideration on the life ban that has been imposed on Budhia. In the end credits, he mentions, Budhia wishes to run for Olympics but is looking for a coach like Biranchi.

Music has been aptly enthused in the film and the songs suit the story well.

With a crisp run-time, the film’s pace is on the right track.

Budhia Singh: Born to Run Review: The Last Word

The story of Odisha’s wonder boy and his coach Biranchi Das needs to be heard. As a sports drama or a biopic, this one hits the right nerve. A 3.5/5 for this film!

Budhia Singh: Born to Run Trailer

Budhia Singh: Born to Run releases on 05th Aug, 2016.

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