Cast – Manoj Bajpayee, Mayur Patole, Tillotama Shome, Shruti Marathe
Writer/Director – Soumendra Padhi
It is a heart-warming and perturbing story of a child prodigy and his mentor coach…
…a coach who saves the child from abject poverty and dire straits to being someone in the lime light as a wonder boy who could run like none other.
But the story was as controversial as it was inspirational… with a lot of allegations about his mentor exploiting him and pushing him beyond what a five year old should be going through.
It’s a superbly executed movie with excellent direction and screenplay by Soumendra Padhi. The portrayal of Biranchi’s character has been done with such balance that we see shades of his humanitarian side bringing up orphans selflessly, his affection towards Budhia, and we also see a whimsical side to him. He drew our admiration and at the same time our abhorrence that he was perhaps driven by the greed for publicity and that he pushed the child too much for his age.
The circus around the whole situation with politics and greed interwoven has been so realistically portrayed that it actually sickens you. But then reality is often sickening and very difficult to run from.
And when you have such a deft screenplay and direction supported by able actors, you get an ace movie.
Manoj Bajpayee once again delivers a superb performance with so many shades to Biranchi’s character that would leave you introspecting.
Mayur Patole, the child actor has delivered such an effortless acting-less natural performance that you almost feel he could have been the real Budhia .
Shruti Marathe as Biranchi’s wife is mentionable for her act too. In fact, most of the support cast specially the child artists did a great job.
What’s heart wrenching is the fact that the child who made the world wonder at the age of five fell prey to the circus of politics and greed and ten years down the line, lives in anonymity under state care with a ban on his running till date.
Whether or not he was exploited by Biranchi but today in the absence of any mentor we don’t know how far is he from achieving his mentor’s Olympic dream.
We know for sure that sports and politics in India is interwoven but to see the reality is heart-breaking and depressing each time, especially when its portrayed through a well-made movie.
Hats off to the director for making an interesting movie out of the story that needed to be told. He managed to present a balanced view, make it realistic, hard hitting, emotionally tugging and fair paced.
Score 8.5 on 10