The Legend of Bhagat Singh
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Thursday 6 June 2002
The Legend of Bhagat Singh
Ajay Devgan, Raj Babbar, Farida Jalal
Rating: * * *
The day of the reckoning is finally here with the battle of the Bhagat Singhs out in the open. The final result of the two, that is, Ajay Devgan and Bobby Deol?s, is as different as chalk and cheese. Rajkumar Santoshi?s is expectantly the classier product, but not without its faults.
RKS opens his film with the British soldiers trying to get rid of the bodies of the three martyrs ??Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, but are overtaken by a mob. The incident raises the shackles of every freedom-fighting Indian in the country who confrontsMahatma Gandhi for not doing enough to save Bhagat Singh?s life. ?History will always question you about this? says one, to which Gandhi has no answer. And the life of the freedom fighter who died young unfolds in front of our eyes. Bhagat Singh was no ordinary child.
Bhagat Singh (Ajay Devgan) grows up to be an intelligent, intense and popular youth in his college. His ideology attracts like-minded youth like Sukhdev (Sushant Singh) to him. Bhagat Singh runs away from home to avoid marriage, as he believed that there was no place for an event like that in his life. He was married to his country, and wanted to free her. Out of the house, he joins Bismillah (Ganesh Yadav) and his group who plan the Kakoree Train Theft with Chandrashekhar Azad (Akhilendra Mishra). When Bismillah and his group are caught, Azad joins Bhagat Singh and his group to form the Hindustan Socialist Republic Association. ?When Lala Lajpat Rai gets killed in the Simon Go Back morcha, the group gets together to kill Assistant Superintendent of Police John Poyantz Saunders as retaliation. He along with B K Dutta bombs the Legislative Assembly to get arrested. The tactic was to get their message of freedom for India across to the country as well as the world. The British Empire considered Bhagat too dangerous, as the unknown youth overnight became a hero for his country. His popularity at one time seemed to overtake the Ahimsa believing Gandhi. Bhagat even in the prison rebelled for human rights and along with his group fasted for more than a month. His popularity within the country signed the death warrant for Bhagat and his friends, Sukhdev and Rajguru (D Santosh) who were hanged to death on 23rd March 1931.
Truly Bhagat Singh is the kind of stuff that heroes are made up of. But how does oneencapsulate a life that young, that short and yet so rich in a two and half hour film, without erring. And err it does, Ajay Devgan comes across as Ajay rather than the martyr. Ajay hasgiven a fabulous performance, but it?s the star that overrides the character. In contrast, the supporting characters make more impact than him. Santosh?s The Legend of Bhagat Singh while intense, doesn?t come across as the intelligent hero that he was. The drama build up is commendable. The dialogues by Anjum Rajabali and Piyush Mehra are apt. A.R Rahman?s music is good, although Desh Mere does tend to have a hangover of Chale Chalo of Lagaan. Overall, The Legend of Bhagat Singh is slick and commendable work.