Bajrangi Bhaijaan Movie Review

Saturday, July 18, 2015
So the Eid hitmaker is back. It is that time of the year when Bhaijaan gives his fans reasons for ‘wee bit o’ celebration’. But this flick is nothing like the harebrained superhits he has delivered incessantly, year-on-year. It is hard to point out that magic element which makes this Salman starrer Eid offering notches above anything he has worked on in the last decade. It doesn’t have an inventive story; on the contrary it is a predictable, loopy mess. But it does benefit from the basic plot in place. It is frequently laughable, often devoid of logic but has far too many positives to let the flaws curb you from savouring the exuberance the film holds.
The safest bet will be to say the film has its heart in the right place and the unanimous opinion echoes that the little Harshaali Malhotra is absolutely delightful and winsome, almost enough to take attention away from the Khan, who knows best how to reign frames and hearts.
Right at the start, director Kabir Khan sets the theme right. The film opens to an Indo-Pak match, which India is losing and Pakistanis cheer as Shahid Afridi scores sixes. This is nothing short of blasphemy for Indian sensibility, but the tenderness with which Kabir’s narrative takes course is impeccably thought out. It doesn’t stench of secularist ranting but the idea of love prevailing is what triumphs overall.

Salman Khan plays Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi, endearingly called Bajrangi. Faith on Lord Hanuman is an integral part of his system. Betrothed to Rasika, a school-teacher in Delhi played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Bajrangi rescues a little girl in Kurukshetra. She is mute and gets separated from her parents. The film takes us through hilarious mores as we discover that Munni is a Pakistani. Reasoning and logic flies out the window soon into the story as Pavan reaches Pakistan without a passport or a visa. The entire border sequence of him convincing BSF soldiers to allow him in without permission was absolutely ridiculous. By the climax, it is again a purely Salman Khan formula fare, following his messiah template, changing the lingo and locales and voila, peppering it with resounding punches (which for a change are thankfully fewer than the emotional scenes).
It might be sappy but the cuteness overload works. The film is performed with aplomb. Kareena, who has a miniscule role, flaunts her Goddess-like looks to the hilt. Nawazuddin Siddiqui adds the humorous zing which evens out the film’s heavy handed handling. And Salman, is more himself than he has been in any of his recent outings. Hell, he has acted, he has emoted, he has danced, he has visibly enjoyed it all and has thrived at each of it. But the clear show-stealer is the little angel, whose invisible halo glows in her smile. Harshaali is a sparkling beauty and such a treat to watch. Salman was right about this one; she is a diva!
Kabir has that perfect recipe of India-Pakistan’s terse relations as the backdrop and yet it never features enough in the film. The stray pieces of the story fall in together with utter convenience. Understandably, the movie isn’t so much about the politics of the warring lands, as much as it about the love that must glue its people. But, the writing is underdeveloped and weak. There is no suspense to the drama that runs down its fun. Its tempo takes a while to pick up and surely is very unevenly paced. The editing department hasn’t done a noteworthy job either. Luckily Pritam’s soundtrack blends into the story to give a soothing effect.
Allow your gray matter to take some rest, as bizarre questions will pop in your head. It is almost silly that Salman reaches his little friend home without her address or even a plan.
Besides Salman’s sincerity, it is Nawazuddin’s antics that will keep one amused. In a scene, to escape cops Salman had to a wear a burqa and play Nawaz’s wife. The blabbermouth, self-righteous honest lad is shushed by Nawaz saying, “Begum, Tu Phir Boli..” It is a priceless scene. Sadly, the spark of such scenes wear out by the climax that is highly overdramatic and stretched. An expected clap-trap, the final scene has its beauty but comes far too late to conjure up the desired impact.
He has always been a mass-pleaser but once in a while Dabangg Khan pops your way a suprise film where he enthralls even without having to strip off his shirt and flaunt his chiseled torso.
We have always been of the opinion that reviewing a Salman Khan film is futile. Not that our thinking has budged much from that, but this is one film that one wouldn’t mind writing about. Its message is captivating and more than that its the movie's pristine soul that leaves you emotionally stirred. Fan or not this film is worth a watch. Eid aa gayi aur woh apni Eidi lene aa gaya.
We rate this film a 60% on our Pinkvilla Movie meter.

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