155 Min | Biography – Drama – History | June 2002
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Director: Rajkumar Santoshi
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Sushant Singh, D. Santosh
The Legend of Bhagat Singh Review: The Legend of Bhagat Singh is one of Indian cinema’s most ambitious projects to date. After three years of painstaking research and set construction, veteran film maker Raj Kumar Santoshi and actor Ajay Devgan shot the film in a short stretch of six months. The film released early due to competition from other films dealing with roughly the same subject. Overall it’s a pretty solid film but one can’t help shake the feeling that it could have been a far superior product if it had been worked on for a short while longer. The Legend of Bhagat Singh tells the entire life story of Indian freedom fighter and martyr Bhagat Singh who, in a nut shell, grew disillusioned with Gandhi’s passive movement and lead an independent violent struggle against the British.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh’s biggest highlight is its lead performer, Indian actor Ajay Devgan. The actor single handedly manages to uplift even the most dull and unconvincing scenes in the film to a high quality level. His every expression and mannerism is carefully calculated to maximize his impact on the viewer. This man can move audiences to tears or wide smiles with just a few short lines and quick glances from his intense eyes. His work in The Legend of Bhagat Singh is par excellence and can easily rival any work done by any grade-A actors the world over. The supporting cast is good as well, with fellow revolutionary Sukhdev (Indian stage actor Sushant Singh) Bhagat Singh’s mother (Indian diva Farida Jalal) leaving lasting impressions as well.
The last excellent thing about The Legend of Bhagat Singh is the music by renowned composer A.R. Rahman. The music is not as festive as Bollywood movies usually boast, but that’s to be expected considering the subject of the film. The well crafted, soothing ethnic tunes manage to evoke the right emotions without seeming rash and distasteful. The film isn’t without its weaknesses, however. For one, it’s obviously a rushed effort. Segments of the script seem under developed and the impact of certain national tragedies on Bhagat Singh’s mindset is never fleshed out as one would want them to be. For all its faults however, The Legend of Bhagat Singh has plenty of strengths to make it a superb film. It tells a great story with style and conviction. It has wonderful performances including one of finest performances ever in Indian cinema by Devgan. It has great action, moving drama, soothing music, and is (overall) a thoroughly rewarding and entertaining experience.