‘Run Bhuumi Champs Don’t Cry’ – A rudimentary sports drama (IANS Rating – **)

Film: “Run Bhuumi Champs Don’t Cry”; Director: Prashant Singh Rathore; Cast: Himani Atri, Mansoob Haider, Bhagwan Tiwari, Hema Singh, Kamakshi Tiwari, Ritwik Thakur, Piyu Chohan, Ranvir Singh Chohan, Umesh Thakur; Rating: **

With Children’s Day around the corner, “Run Bhuumi Champs Don’t Cry” is a rudimentary sports drama that hopes to inspire children this weekend. It also has a nugget of Diwali celebrations, hence making it an apt release during the festivities this week.

Set in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh and narrated from the sports teacher-cum-coach Sikander’s point of view, the film is the tale of 16-year-old Bhuumi, a young athlete who against all odds represents her school in The Himalayan Cross Country Championship.

This film is editor Prashant Singh Rathore’s maiden directorial venture. With moderate production values, the film is technically sound but lacks the zing of a formulaic sports film basically due to its poorly written script.

Packed with melodrama, actor-writer-producer Mansoob Haider’s story and screenplay lacks finesse. The graph is jagged with a ragbag of forced drama which includes an accident followed by a guilt trip, a clot in the brain followed by an expensive operation, ambition, greed and sacrifice all interwoven to make Bhuumi run for the prize money.

The dialogues are ordinary with a few offbeat, intense theatrical notes that make a mountain out of a molehill. Especially the one like, “Waqt guzarne ke liye waqt lagta hai (it takes time for time to pass)”. Also in continuation to this there is an entire spiel on time, which is unwarranted.

On the performance front, Himani Atri as the young and unassuming Bhuumi is remarkable.

Her hesitant character does not inspire confidence but then she charms you with her natural performance and as the narration progresses you root for her while she participates in the 16 km run.

Mansoob Haider as the burdened-with-guilt Sikander delivers a robust, low-key performance. He displays his pain and inner turmoil with ease, but lacks the persona of a sports coach.

It is Bhagwan Tiwari who brings life to the screen with his over-the-top histrionics as the corrupt trustee of the school and a wannabe politician.

Hema Singh as Bhuumi’s grandmother is unnatural and overacts thus appearing artificial. Her performance is very theatrical and she lacks the on-screen chemistry with her co-stars.

Kamakshi Tiwari as Bhuumi’s friend and confidant Mamta, in a limited screen time makes her presence felt.

For a relatively small budget film, Ashok Mishra’s cinematography is sharp. With a steady, well angled camera, some of his frames are well shot. The mist covered hill station, the snow and the fireworks during Diwali are well captured.

Music by Sudhakar Dutt Sharma is a bit screechy and loud.

Three of the four songs that weave the script, nearly have the same beat and sound similar too. It fails to infuse a spirit of competition or excitement in this run-of-the mill narration.

Overall this film is made with an agenda but fails to drive the passion home.

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