First Movie Review: Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Does this Salman Khan film live up to its hype? Read City 1016's Lokesh Dharmani's review
First Movie Review: Bajrangi Bhaijaan
A still from Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Director - Kabir Khan

Starring - Salman Khan, Nawazzudin Siddiqui and Kareena Kapoor.

Rating - 3 stars

A review of a Salman Khan film is as futile as guests’ opinions on Arnab Goswami’s show and as laughable as Gajendar Chauhan being the chairman of FTII. I will write, two of you will agree, a million other will troll and the makers of the film will be pooping diamonds on Swarovski studded commodes while they plan a sequel with path breaking titles like Dabangg Bajrangi’s Kick ki Jai Ho.

So what does Salman Khan do when he is not playing the upright, helpful, honest, I-will-save-the-world, gareebo ka messiah in Dabangg series produced by brother? He is playing the upright, helpful, honest, I-will-save-the-world, gareebo ka messiah in films produced by him. The template is prepared. Salman Khan changes clothes, locations, accents and lo! Dabangg/Kick/Jai Ho Part 8927 is ready. Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi aka Bajrangi is honest, kind hearted being human…I mean human being, whose sole motive is to drop a 6 year old Pakistani girl to her parents. There is a slight problem though. The girl is mute, a problem too small and only second to her acute disorder of wandering off and getting lost. She constantly leaves her parents’/loved ones’ hands, wanders off and gets lost in crowds so often that I wanted to gift her parents a leash. Pets in Dubai are far more obedient.

But the movie has its heart in its place, the place that’s located at PO Box- 500 Crore, Blockbuster Bagh, aag-lag-gayi-all-over-INDIA. Director Kabir Khan knows what works. He ropes in the country’s biggest superstar to deal with the much loved Indo-Pak issue. The leading lady is gorgeous, the locations are breathtaking, the music by Pritam is a good mix and the film’s marketing team worked relentlessly to come up with a never thought before marketing plan for the film- let’s release it on EID!!

Despite playing to the gallery, Kabir Khan manages to create an endearing character in Bajrangi. He is academically slow, feels tickled while wrestling and is painfully honest. He is so honest that he would single handedly beat the collective integrity scores of Bapu, Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. Quite ‘honest’ly his sincerity put me to sleep beyond a point. In a scene Nawazudin Siddiqui says to Bajrangi, ‘tum bahadur ho, ya bewakoof.’ BOTH, I shouted!! But what I liked the most about Bajrangi was his humanity. Despite being religious, his love for the little girl drives him to face his biggest fears and go that extra mile to help her.

The first half of the film has some interesting sequences especially the ones that reveal the little girl’s religion and country. The fight sequences are thankfully short and few and far in between. Alas all logic takes a back seat in the second half and we are exposed to huge plot holes meant for the dinosaurs running in the adjacent theatre.

-HOW CAN PAKISTANI ARMY ALLOW A FOREIGNER WITHOUT PASSPORT AND VISA?    
-WHY COULDN’T THEY TAKE THE RESPONSIBILTY OF THE GIRL?
-HOW CAN BAJRANGI SCOUT THE ENTIRE COUNTRY LOOKING FOR A TINY COTTAGE ON SOME GODFORSAKE HILLTOP WITHOUT AN ADDRESS OR EVEN WORSE A PLAN?  

Before I found answers to these stupid silly questions, I realised the focus had already shifted. It was no longer about Indo-Pak relationship or that the girl be dropped home. It had become all about THE BHAI!! Wow bhai is so honest, bhai is so sincere, bhai fights like a hero, aww bhai smiles, heyy bhai laughs, hahahaha bhai cracks a joke!! And before you know it has reached to a swelling climax where bhai has managed to get people from both India and Pakistan chant his name creating his personal Tomorrowland of sorts.

Thankfully there was Nawazudin Siddiqui and his antics to offset the HAIL THE BHAI movement.  

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is not a bad film. It’s not regressive like Dabangg, preachy like Jai Ho or irritating like Kick. It’s a cute film that talks about Indo-Pak issue. Though I thought Nitin Kakkar’s Filmistan had done it FAR, FAR, FAAAAR better. But there is a huge difference. Filmistan showed two countries bond on Salman Khan’s Maine Pyar Kiya. Bajrangi Bhaijaan HAS SALMAN KHAN.  

Most of all Bajrangi Bhaijaan makes you feel proud, proud of the fact that we come from a secular country like India where a Muslim director takes the biggest Muslim superstar, christens him Bajrangi and makes him chant Jai Shri Raam a million times in a film that releases on EID! Watch it. It’s a fun family watch.   

WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:

5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!) 
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once. 
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?

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