Kabir Khan
Director/ Screenplay

Vijayendra Prasad

Perveez Shaikh

Movie Review
Bajrangi Bhaijaan:Stardom, well utilized

Cinema has the power to move you, to make you think, to make you reflect upon yourself. It is sad that not all filmmakers exercise this power. So when a film comes by that manages to do all of the above, you feel happy, you feel positive that all is not lost. The very fact that the film is powered by Salman Khan’s stardom just ensures that the reach will be far and wide.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is the story of Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi aka Bajrangi played by Salman Khan, who meets a mute girl (Harshali Malhotra) and decides to unite her with her parents. Bajrangi is a staunch Hindu, a hanuman-bhakt, a pure vegetarian. So the discoveries that the mute girl, whom he has named Munni, eats non-veg and is a musilm, are shocking for him. Final blow is knowing that Munni is from Pakistan. But he has promised his Bajrang Bali that he will make sure she reaches her home. And he fulfils his promise, with the help of a struggling Pakistani journalist Jaan Nawaaz (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Even if it means spending money he has saved to marry his love Rasika (Kareena Kapoor Khan).

The story is credited to Vijayendra Prasad who has also written the larger than life epic movie, Bahubali. Screenplay along with director Kabir Khan is credited to Parveez Sheikh, who also wrote the screenplay of Queen. So the writing team seems quite the cream. And that’s where the film scores. Some beautifully written scenes with meaningful dialogues (Kausar Muneer) stay with you for long. Would not talk about them here because they affect you more when they come as a surprise on screen.

Some might find the film over the top. I would not. Yes the film is not as real as “Filmistaan” but its not as OTT as some of the recent films either. The ending is aspirational and makes you wish this kind of world is possible. If you like Jingoism and Pakistan bashing films then, this is not the film for you.

The performances are really good. It is indeed Salman Khan’s best performance till date. If you are in love with Salman Khan of Wanted, Ready, Dabang, Kick etc, then you won’t like him in this film. He plays a truthful, innocent man who says no heavy dialogue in the film. Even when he bashes up the bad guys, he doesn’t utter a word. Just wipes a tear from his eye. Harshaali Malhotra is brilliant. Playing a mute girl and conveying thousand emotions just through expressions is not an easy task. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has a very meaty role and he does full justice to it. His body language, his dialogue delivery, his expressions, all are just apt for the character he has played. Kareena Kapoor Khan doesn’t get much of the screen space and its good in a way because the film is story of Bajrangi and the little girl.

The screenplay is tight but the filmmaker has treated the scenes in a slow manner. I guess this is done to cater the Salman fans but it also slacks the film’s pace. I personally felt, film could have been fifteen minutes shorter. Though I am unable to point out, which scene could have been done away with. The locations are great and have been captured well by cinematographer Aseem Mishra, who has been a regular with Kabeer Khan in all his films.

Background music by Julius Packium is really good. Songs by Pritam flow well with the film. Tu mila is melodious and takes the story forward. Bhar do jholi meri will make you emotional. Even the chicken song was good. I guess pure vegetarians will have a problem with it.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a meaningful film that utilizes Salman Khan’s stardom in a perfect manner to give an entertainer that audience will like. It is not a film where the hero shouts Hindustan Zindabad in Pakistan. But yes, it’s a film where the hero honestly greets people Jai Shri Ram even in Pakistan. If one has to defy logic, it better be the Bajrangi way.


   S. Manasvi

S. Manasvi is a FTII alumnus, who has written and directed Love U Mr Kalakaar for Rajshri Productions and has written many TV shows..

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