The film showcases Salman Khan in a never-seen-before avatar!
Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Salman Khan and Eid have all come together this week to give a special treat to all Salman fans out there. For those who thought Bhai would stumble this time, please take a hike. Salman Khan is back in style and he is here to win your hearts!
What's it about:
The plot of Bajrangi Bhaijaan is no mystery. Salman plays the lead role of Pawan Chaturvedi aka Bajrangi bhakt who is goodness personified. He doesn't lie, won't cheat even if he's forced to, has an uncanny habit of bowing down in front of monkeys whom he considers avatars of Lord Hanuman - the list is endless. So when Shahida aka Munni (Harshaali Malhotra) who is mute loses her way from Pakistan and lands up in India, she takes solace in Pawan's arms. Of course, the agreement isn't consensual and the first half goes in Pawan trying to figure out who is Munni and what her place of origin is. Kareena Kapoor Khan plays Rasika, Salman's love interest and the only character wearing color and a bit of glamour. The palette for rest of the film is extremely rugged and dry. Bajrangi Bhaijaan's storyline is simple, yet the characters in it go through complex situations. Nawaz takes the tempo to another level in the second half where he plays a bumbling yet smart Pakistani TV reporter. With his addition to the plot, things become more interesting. Even though the climax is predictable and we know where Bajrangi's story ends, it's the journey that matters and draws you in with its charm.
Kabir Khan has shown a side to his craft that will leave everyone stunned. Someone who's USP has been political action thrillers has come up with a story that is devoid of any gimmicks, special effects, or distractions that have been part of his earlier films. This time he strips the plot to its core basic and lets his characters shine. Be it Bajrangi, Munni or Nawaz, all three characters are so richly written that they stay with you even after the last reel rolls out. Salman has given his career best performance in Bajrangi Bhaijaan. For someone whose every step and move is mimicked and aped, his portrayal of Pawan is his most earnest and sincere effort. There are no glares hanging from his collar, no pelvic thrusts, no double meaning-laden dialogues, just a man with a heart of gold, on a mission. It takes a bit to adjust your senses to this new and improved Salman. But eventually, how much ever you resist, he wins you over with his charm. Nawazuddin is as good as he's in every film. His comic timing is impeccable and every scene with Salman is going to get seetis from the audience. Harshaali is a terrific find and has a face of an angel. It was so important for Kabir to get the right girl to play the part. She had to be innocence personified and Harshaali is all that and more. Kareena and Salman make an amazing pair and the ease at which they perform their scenes comes from the comfort and the love their audience gives them. Cinematography is breathtaking, be it the opening credit scene with the snow capped Himalayas or the Kashmir pine trees that the camera playfully captures, every frame is lit with love. Kabir has steered clear of the obvious and easy trap of Pakistan bashing. In fact this has to be the first film that shows our neighbor in good light. There are no scenes of chest thumping or trying to drum up that patriotic jingoism. Full marks to Kabir and Salman for taking a fresh approach to the cliche ridden Indo-Pak storyline.
The climax takes a bit of time to play itself out. Bajrangi's arrest and what follows is a bit of a letdown in terms of the pace of the plot. You can sense the restlessness of the editor wanting to jump to the climax as the film comes to a full circle. Also Pawan's back story in the first half and his relationship with his dad seemed half baked. We also don't get enough information on Pawan's obsession with Bajrangbali. How did he turn into this avid Hanuman bhakt? Songs are alright, the only track that actually blends into the story is the Adnan Sami qawwali Bhar Do Jholi Meri.
What to do:
Surrender yourself to Bajrangi Bhaijaan and let him win you over with his child-like charm. A must watch for those who complained that Salman doesn't try anything different, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is the ticket to buy this weekend!
4.0 out of 5
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