Bajrangi Bhaijaan : A Salman Khan Film does a PK
Salman Khan films rarely have something called as story. His films rest on his strong shoulders and rely on his charisma. Once in 2-3 years, he gets a good script and which rejuvenates his career for 2-3 years more so that he can dole out the other average stuff. After Jaaneman and Dabangg, here comes another movie from Salman with “some” story. Being an Eid bonanza, this is critic proof and sure to rock he blockbuster but how does it fair on the Cinema scale? Let’s see.
Bajrani Bhaijaan is about a mute girl, Shahida aka Munni (baby Harshaali Malhotra) from Pakistan who gets departed from her Mother (Meher Vij) when she is taken pilgrimage to Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi. She finds a saviour in the kind hearted and caring Hanuman Bhakt, Pawan Chaturvedi aka Bajrangi (Salman Khan) at some Delhi mohalla. She follows him and he can not leave her alone.
Bajrangi takes her to police who ask him to take care of her till her parents are found. As Munni can not speak, it becomes hard for him to know exactly about from where she is. Twists and turns happen so that Bajrangi decides to take Munni to Pakistan himself and reunite her with her parents. He crosses the border illegally (but with permission :p ) and what happens after that is entertaining enough to book tickets for this movie.
Story by Vijayendra Prasad is interesting. The good thing is it is converted into a good screenplay (though it falters in the first half) by Vijayendra Prasad, Kabir Khan and Parveez Sheikh.. The movie grips the audience from the start frame itself till Bajrangi starts telling his story. It is a stale love story between him and Kareena Kapoor with total thanda chemistry. The first half is entertaining and gripping in parts but looses the hold at many places. The film actually gets into momentum after interval and drags the audience through emotional ups and downs with good laughter. Dialogues by Kausar Munir are good.
Director Kabir Khan has a commercially growing graph which is exponentially opposite to quality of his cinema. A career which started with a promising “Kabul Express”, with fairly good movie “New York” and reached to the blockbuster but lacklustre “Ek Tha Tiger”. But Bajrangi Bhaijaan is good enough to redeem his cinematic sins as he gets back to good old story telling without any Bhai(gi)mmicks and really touches the heart of the audience.
There are many shots and scenes which can be applauded for its cinematic brilliance and aesthetics; like the sequence when Munni departs from her mother. No doubt there is melodrama and stretched scenes but as the heart of the movie is at right place, it does connect with the audience. Kabir Khan is able to deliver the typical Bollywood movie where audience whistles, claps, laughs and sheds tears. Such movies come rarely and thanks Kabir Khan for that.
Salman Khan restrained himself and let the vision of the Director and core of the story take shape by not letting his larger than life image harm the innocence and simplicity of the story. There may be a lot of people who will complain that this is not a typical Salman Bhai type movie but at the end of the day it works for the movie. Salman’s role is so subdued that barring the sequence at the brothel it his typical heroism does not appear again. In fact in second half, the author backed role of the super talented Nawazuddin Siddiqi completely takes over the movie. He gets more whistles, claps and laughs than Bhai and rightly so. Nawazuddin steals the show.
Baby Harshaali Malhotra is the real star of this movie along with Nawazuddin. It is because of her even the staunch religiously orthodox audience will identify with whatever Salman does for her. Meher Vij who plays her mother is equally good. Om Puri is nice in his small role. All other cast lend their able support to the movie thus proving casting by Mukesh Chchabra is on the spot.
The only forgettable performance is by Kareena Kapoor. She does not get anything to do except look at Salman with love and amusement.
Technically the movie is top notch. The movie itself starts with breathtaking beauty of Kashmir captured by Aseem Mishra Production design by Rajnish Hedao (a Nagpurian) is superb. Film Editing by Rameshwar S. Bhagat could have been better. Pritam Chakraborty’s music is pleasing but not huge chartbuster. Background music by Julius Packiam is very effective.
At the end, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is Salmans take on PK type narrative. Like Rajkumar Hirani uses the complete truthness of the Alien and his unbiased outer view to demonstrate the obvious disparities and contradictions in the society, here the Bhajrang Bali bhakt Bhaijaan brings to fore how we are all limited by our own narrow views about other religion and even the enemy country, Pakistan.
In this movie, there is no too bad villain. Everyone is good hearted and many things turn melodramatic (like the dialogue by Pakistani Police Inspector in the pre-climax portion). But at the end of if a movie touches the audience heart and makes them emotional and happy as they exit out of the auditorium, what more one can ask from a movie?
Recommendation : Do watch this emotional entertaining story of good hearted people on both side of the Indo-Pak border. Go with your friends and family and don’t forget the carry hand kerchief.