Baaghi Movie Review

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Chiselled abs - check. Smooth dance moves - check. Penchant for action - check. Probably these were the only pre-requisites for casting the male lead for Baaghi. Tiger Shroff is undoubtedly a natural fit here; especially because the one thing this film doesn't call for, is acting. Thankfully both Tiger and his leading lady Shraddha Kapoor don't look very inclined to indulge in that either. Bang-boom-thud-repeat is all that there in this sordid actioner and both Shroff and Kapoor blissfully play out their caricaturish parts without any zeal.
Two rebels fall in love against the wishes of the world. They romance on picturesque beaches, let cool blue waters and frequent rains wash off their troubles and brave enemies with their violent streak. It is easy to buy the fact that lovers turn against everyone but in this case, the rebellion looks unwarranted. Sabbir Khan spins off a regular love triangle and decorates it with some mind-blowing action pieces. The weak link in this film, however, is Shraddha, who once again plays herself. She is chirpy, dances uninhibitedly, laughs at silly things and talks to herself. Her porcelain face, cutesy charm and saccharine adorability is getting a little too repetitive. Yes, Sabbir makes her do some unbelievable stunts and in places, she does show a surprising flair for it but with a character so similar to her previous ones, there is a sheer lack of novelty. She has immense potential that goes unutilized in most of her films. As far as the villain Raghav goes, his character's build-up lacks the menacing factor. The transformation from deewana to deadly doesn't click. The fact that a man who can’t mew in front of his father brings him down, is unconvincing.

The film wastes a good part of its first hour building the romance between Ronnie and Siya. What do they do for a living? Well, they are Baaghis. To the writers, it worked well as a full time career. At least, Siya is an aspiring actress who shoots a total of one scene in the 130 minutes’ runtime. Ronnie whole-heartedly devotes himself to Kalaripayattu. His training scenes are good but are lifted straight out of a medley of Chinese films. The similarities with The Return to the 36 Chamber is unmissable. Pre-interval, a lot of time goes in bringing together on screen flip kicks, back kicks, some rain songs, more rain songs and a love story that doesn't work. Much like Heropanti, Sabbir does his best to make Tiger look like a star. And as long as film sticks to action, Tiger is unmatchable. He is luminous in every scene and every stunt is first rate. But, his acting chops don't reflect the same skill.
The driving force of the film is the love story, which lacks passion for us to buy into it. The romance blooms quite late on in the film and by then your patience runs thin. Added to that the screenplay lacks coherence. A linear narrative would've worked better in this case and could've possibly ironed out many of its faults. But the drama sets in only after interval and unfolds over its zillion songs that come in at frequent intervals. The dated story and its overdramatic dialogues take a toll on you and by the time the film reaches its climax, you are exhausted. Can action and only action make a film? Not until there some story to fall back on. Sabbir does have a story in mind but he busies himself focusing single-mindedly on the grandiose of the action which makes the film suffer.
Baaghi is just lazy filmmaking. And the onus is not Sabbir's alone. The collective responsibility lie with the producers as well who make it an indulgent, narcissistic vain project. It is stylish, agreed, but there is no substitute for quality. Even the best action films in the world cannot afford to be so bereft of logic. A man, a Kalaripayattu novice walks into a Mafioso’s ten-storeyed building minus any ammunition. The villain in question has his personal army on each floor. The hero kills each of them just with bare hands. One man is greater than a hundred is best reserved only for Salman Khan films. Sabbir does his best to beat logic and pull it off but he ends up making it look too clinical. The fun and thrill of watching the hero punch people to pulp was completely absent. Moreover, the director didn’t need to show us the x-ray shots of how each bone breaks! Spare the details, we get the drift.
Baaghi is sincere but that doesn’t translate to good. Do you enjoy watching the film? Just the action. It is mostly too far-fetched and watching two expressionless dolls batting eyelids at each other is far from satisfying. If you are an action-junkie, you wouldn’t mind wasting your energy on this but for others this is a tiresome trek that doesn’t end on an exhilarating note. 
We rate the film 40%

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