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Reviews & Ratings for
The Legend of Bhagat Singh More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Excellent representation of one of India's freedom fighters

Author: Raj Chakraberti (raj.chakraberti@gmail.com)
26 November 2004

The Legend of Bhagat Singh is a wonderful representation of India, in the middle of its struggle to throw the British out. As with any with movie with a historical basis, I was a nervous that Bollywood would use artistic license to cheapen the story. In fact, the director, Santoshi shows in details how Bhagat came to develop his views of the British with very little outside distraction.

Ajay Devgan is excellent as a the title character, bringing the necessary passion that only he can provide with his steel-y stare. Of particular note is the scene showing the freedom fighters telling Gandhi to stop working within the British framework. Westerners can see the parallel between Gandhi's nonviolent methods and the more revolutionary Bhagat Singh with Martin Luther King's methods vs Malcolm X "by any means necessary" credo.

As the last reviewer mentioned, it's a great reference for those interested in India's independence struggle and it truly reinvigorated my interest in Indian history.

See this movie if you enjoy eastern history, but won't go for the traditional Bollywood flick.

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Film

10/10
Author: sushant_el from India
23 April 2004

The legend of Bhagat Singh is one of the finest movies of Indian film history.The film shows the lifetime of great freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.The film depicts his life,his struggle and his determination brillantly..The film not only shows the freedom fighter's struggle,but also his ideologies and his idea of a progressive nation and how he moved the entire nation. The photography,the script,the dialogues(power packed and very thought-provoking)everything about this movie is splendid.A lot of research has gone into making this film.Brilliant performance by Ajay Devagan as Bhagat singh,Sushant singh as Sukhdev.Ajay literally lived the freedom fighter's life.The music adds to the film's beauty. Raj Kumar Santoshi's brilliant effort and a fitting tribute to the son of the soil.Bollywood should be proud of this masterpiece.

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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A Fantastic Bio-pic on an Intriguing Figure, but Not Without Flaws

10/10
Author: SURJYAKIRAN from New York City
10 June 2002

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 film 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.

Colonial India is recreated magnificently in the film and the British atrocities committed are portrayed with aplomb by the director. One can truly get a sense of how such frustrating conditions could drive youngsters to violence and revolt. Some of the film's strengths are its hard hitting portrayal of British atrocities, its court scenes and its action scenes.

The film'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 here 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 movie 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.

Also, Bhagat Singh's political ideology (he was a communist, by the way) is never really spelled out for viewers. Instead, they are left to put together pieces for themselves connecting the dots from dialogs and incidents in the film to really figure out the main character's mindset and view points.

The second half of the film moves at an awkward pace, sometimes lingering on minute details and other times racing ahead and skipping crucial events (which are referenced in later dialog). Finally, for a film that remains very objective in presenting most events, viewers will be surprised by a very negative portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi and India's first Prime Minister Nehru. This angle of the film stuck out like a sore thumb to say the least.

For all its faults however, 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. It comes highly recommended by me.

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

One of the Greatest films from Bollywood.

10/10
Author: Anshul Upadhyay from India
12 May 2005

This film is undoubtedly one of the greatest (for me it is the greatest one) movies from bollywood's basket. Director Rajkumar Santoshi has as usual proved himself as one of the few excellent directors bollywood has.He has done a great task of research before making this film.Each and every department of this movie is just marvelous.Every incident is shown with 100% touch of reality.Everything ,right from sets to dialogues creates the real time of that period.As far as acting is concerned, i think this is the most powerful performance from Ajay Devgan.No surprise he got national award for this film.Other actors in film too deserve 100% appreciation.Sushant Singh has been wonderful, so was Raj Babbar.I wonder why this film was not a blockbuster at box office.Well......we all know why....?it wasn't a rubbish stuffs from badjatya,johar or chopras.Well full marks and thanks to Rajkumar Santoshi for this movie.Must see this film.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A LEGENDARY FILM

Author: Rathnavel Ponnuswami (reavan@tamil.com) from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
15 December 2003

Reavan recommends The Legend Of Bhagat Singh Product Rating : Plot revealed in review : Somewhat revealed

`The Legend of Bhagat Singh' is an excellent example for flawless filming of the life of a magnificent martyr. Raj Kumar Santhoshi is a director known for raising many quiescent questions and not supplementing the same with adequate answers, but this film was entirely different. The director did the film under petrifying pressure rapidly racing it out with five other filmmakers in bringing the brilliant Bhagat to tinsel town. The superceding selection of authentic actors would have greatly given initial comfort to the director. Ajay Devgan as Bhagat Singh, Susan Singh as Sukhdev, Santhosh as Rajguru, Akilendra Mishra as Chandrasekar Azad, Raj Babbar and Farida Jalal as Bhagat's parents all of them made a mind-blowing mark for themselves in this miraculous movie and in the history of Bollywood. The sub cast lead by Amrita Rao, who plays fiancée were no inferior in delivering the goods. A particular mention to be made of the jailor, and the actors who played the roles of Emerson and Gandhiji .The soundest strength of the film was the amazing ability of Rajkumar Santhoshi to impeccably interweave sentiments and dramatic scenes amidst the course of the film , jubilantly justifying history all the way. The suitable sequences for the former fact are the court scene where gosh approves, Sarfaroshi Ki Tamana song, Bhagat's farewell to his mother etc. The cinematography and art direction have done wonderfully well to keep up with the classy cinema. The lyricist and dialogue writer have been efficiently equal to the tumultuous task and their resourceful role has been a pivotal point in the film. One phenomenal personality who had lent the cutting edge to this memorable movie is `Music Midas' a r rahman. The way rahman marvelously meddles with our minds, moods and music is yet another record of his activating ability and acquaintable acumen. He deserves a resolute round of applause for unbelievably using Sonu Nigam and Sukhwinder Singh. Though the film had not tipped TIPS, the producers benevolently at the baffling box office, the immaculate impact it created is not negligible. It is slowly and steadily creating a sound stardom for Bhagat Singh amongst the youth of the country, which was the cause of the film.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Simple narrative and top notch acting

Author: mayurdeepz from Malaysia
20 October 2004

This movie would top my list of all the patriotic movies I have ever watched. To say the least I have seen a lot of this genre. Rajkumar Santoshi as already mentioned in the other comments must have done a lot of research to come out with such minute details. The narrative was very simple and the fact that it could reach out to the larger mass is evident. That indeed did cut down on the international appeal. But no complains as the objective set out is achieved. Now talking about the acting. It would be only fair to say that Ajay's acting in this movie is at par with his role as Mallik in RGV's "Company" if not better. To get into the skin of such a legendary character and to act like him was an ardent task and Ajay looked effortless while doing the scenes which according to me would give the Khans a run for their money. I had tears in my eyes, when the three martyrs break into that "Rang de basanti" mood in the climax. It will be remembered for a long long time from now. Last but not the least the supporting cast did a splendid job, which is crucial in such a huge feature. Everyone lived out their respective characters. With special mention to the Court Room scenes and the Hunger strike scenes in the cell. There is a lot the young Indians should learn from this movie which in turn would make Bhagat's sacrifices worthwhile. A sure winner from the first shot to the last. A highly recommended must see which should get nothing less but 8/10.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Very intense and thought provoking

10/10
Author: abhi2023 from United States
22 June 2005

As I preach that comments are and should be taken no more than personal opinion of an individual, I, right at the outset would say that GO, GET & WATCH this masterpiece. The director seems to have done his homework properly. Very realistic sets, appearance of characters. As far as story is concerned or better say truthfulness of the story is concerned, history poses as one of the toughest problem. There is no going back. The conflict between Gandhi's non-violence and Bhagat Singh's Tit for Tat philosophy is one of the most touching points of the movie. It eventually leads to execution of Bhagat Singh. How true is that? I am wondering and will always wonder with hope that either Gandhi or Bhagat Singh would come in my dreams and tell me what the truth was. But nevertheless, it is a great movie to watch which will stir emotions. Ajay as Bhgat Singh is brilliant. He is among the finest actors in India indubitably. The other character that impresses is Sushant Singh who makes an impact with his intense performance. All in all, all have done justice with their characters and fit well. Director did good home work and hence a movie that we should be proud of is out there on someone who is perhaps not internationally as famous as Gandhi but for sure was a great freedom fighter, real patriot and a great son of Mother India.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

A Great Movie With Ajay At His Best

10/10
Author: Anshuman Singh (anshu9883@yahoo.com) from M.P., India
20 June 2003

A must watch movie for any patriotic person.Watch it for Ajay Devgan at his best.Sushant is impressive as Sukhdev.the screenplay is tight and the movie outplays it's counterparts like 23 March 1931 :Shaheed.I liked the casting and the costumes.Rehman's music is excellent esp. the songs like Desh Mere & Sarfaroshi Ki Tammana. All in All An Excellent Attempt To Remember The Sacrifices Of Soldiers Of Freedom. 10 out of 10 for this one!

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Great movie for the patriots

10/10
Author: Zaheer Alvi (zaheeralvi) from Qatar
5 November 2002

I think a great movie on the history with great acting, direction, music, Photography, effects, sets, clothes and over all the story. The movie has got that touch in it which really makes a person feel that what has happened with the actual person, is shown in the movie very exactly, and specially when the information is coming from the brother of the person. I think this movie is really worth watching and in fact I liked it so much that I bought the DVD of this movie after watching it in the theater.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Bhagat Singh's Story

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
6 November 2008

Santoshi's 'The Legend of Bhagat Singh' tells a detailed biography of the martyred hero. He does provide both the good side and the dark side (his obsession blinding him to the fact that it's wrong to teach children to make bombs). Santoshi also shows the clash between Bhagat Singh's and Gandhi's viewpoints quite effectively. He has tried to stay historically accurate and even though it was released during the same time as Guddu Dhanoa's snoozefest '1930 Shaheed', 'The Legend of Bhagat Singh' triumphs above that and is a masterpiece in comparison.

Ajay Devgan, though intense roles are his strength, may seem like an odd choice to play the title role, especially because there is no physical resemblance and he is too old for the part. Otherwise, he delivers a winning performance. Sushant Singh and Akhilendra Mishra are equally powerful. The supporting cast that includes an excellent Raj Babbar, a sincere Farida Jalal and dusky beauty Amrita Rao leave a mark. I liked the actress that played Durga who seems to be an important female figure in Indian history. I would like to see a movie about this woman. The actors who play the Brits are horrendous.

The cinematography is fine and A.R. Rahman's soundtrack is another winner. Most of the songs are patriotic but there are a few different numbers too. The background score, though beautiful, is intrusive at times and kind of adds a melodramatic feel (when that isn't necessary).

'The Legend of Bhagat Singh' is one of the fewer biopics in Indian cinema that tells a good story while attempting to stay true to the facts. Some might find it difficult to watch due to the violent content but it is a movie that is worth viewing.

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