Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and half stars)
Star Cast: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Harshaali Malhotra, Rajesh Sharma, Om Puri
Director: Kabir Khan
What’s Good: Emotion, drama, humour- in short, the Salman Khan package of entertainment. Additionally, the sweet kid & a visually stunning, well acted ride don’t disappoint. It might just beat records of previous Salman films at the box office.
What’s Bad: At 2 hours and 25 minutes, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is long. Its stretched climax is custom made to fit the pattern of a formulaic Salman film. Do remember to suspend logical reasoning and go with the flow. That will help!
Loo break: You won’t miss much if you step out during a couple of songs in the first half; In the second half, you wouldn’t want to go!
‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ includes elements of a typical Salman Khan film; it’s larger than life, takes huge leaps of imagination and shows Bajrangi (Salman Khan) make impossible things happen with ease. But it’s got heart. And it’s got a winsome, endearing and dashingly handsome Salman Khan. As expected, it has Indo- Pak peace rhetoric riding on human spirit. But somehow, it makes these clichés work.
It’s Shahida’s story, a sweet, spirited 6-year-old Pakistani girl who loses her way in India. Lost, hungry & lonely, she begins to stick to the enthusiastic Hanuman devotee Salman Khan; Pawan Chaturvedi, also known as Bajrangi. Unable to shake her off, Pawan, who is not good at anything other than being a good, honest human being, takes her home, not knowing that she is Pakistani and a Muslim. The love of his life, Rasika (a gorgeous Kareena Kapoor Khan), decides to help Pawan in sending the little girl home. Never saying a word, but always communicating with her emotive eyes, Pawan develops a special bond for this kid. Circumstances compel him to cross the border illegally to find her parents. In the process, his paths cross with a small time freelance TV reporter, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who joins the two in their search.
What happens next is definitely predictable, with dollops of populist peace talk thrown in. All the same, the film is visually extravagant & genuinely heart felt.
Salman Khan emotes convincingly in this film, letting his innocent eyes do the talking (not too many actors have eyes that say so much); even as Harshaali Malhotra wins you over with her simple performance. The film’s strongest point is this unique relationship between Bajrangi and this mute kid. Nawazuddin Siddiqui delivers a natural performance that makes the second half so much better; and Kareena is luminous in her part.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan Review: Script Analysis
The script has flaws. It has leaps of faith, like humane border security guards. But it’s core story- that of Bajrangi’s love for this little girl and his promise to take her homes against all odds- is consistently narrated. With humour in regular life used to lighten the mood, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ holds out throughout despite it’s length. The climax actually makes you wonder who, other than Salman & his compatriot Khans Shah Rukh & Aamir, could ever get away with such filmyness! Well Salman does.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan Review: Star Performance
The film’s best performance, undoubtedly, is that of Salman Khan. To play this part, he has left behind his signature over the top gestures somewhat; he is measured & endearing. Harshaali Malhotra is lovable & convincing; with a naughty, bright smile that speaks volumes. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is brilliant and brings a wholly different energy to this cast. Kareena Kapoor Khan, in a short but significant role, is perfectly suited for her part. Supported by a decent cast of character actors including Om Puri & Rajesh Sharma, they lend credibility to this obviously commercial script with huge leaps of faith.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan Review: Music, Direction
The film’s cinematography by Aseem Mishra stands out for flourish, scale & splendor; rarely have barren desers and mofussil towns looked magnificent in their rawness. While the screenplay has quite a few holes in its narrative, and emotions rule over logic at most plot points, it’s intent to be an engaging commercial film definitely works. Editing is in sync with the story.
Kabir Khan took flak for the blockbuster ‘Ek Tha Tiger’; for this one, he is to be applauded. He has optimized the magnetism of Salman Khan & built his populist story in an easily consumed, entertaining manner. This is a very decent commercial film, notwithstanding a very filmy climax.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan Review: The Last Word
This film is a must watch for lovers of pure Hindi commercial cinema; it’s also decent entertainment & a good one to catch with the family!
Bajrangi Bhaijaan Trailer
Bajrangi Bhaijaan releases on 17th July, 2015.
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