From Bahubali To Bajrangbali….

Disclaimer – Right at the beginning, let me confess that I, being a lesser mortal, neither have the authority nor the credentials to review a Salman Khan movie. I am an eternal optimist and try to see the world through my painted glasses. Hence I write down things, as I feel it. If any Salman Khan fans get offended by it, please consider the following to be my soul saver :

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Last Sunday, I had the glorious opportunity to get onto a journey which had both Bahubali and Bajrangbali. While I enjoyed it thoroughly, the shitty writer inside me (as well as my dumbass pals!) kept poking me to puke out the feelings into the blog. So here it is. Enjoy while you can

For me, staying close to a cinema is like being a kid in a candy shop. I love the movies. I love the smell of popcorn, the trailers, the huge billboards and the long queue in front of ticket counter as well as the urinal !! So when after a really long time, I had nothing to do on a rainy afternoon, I decided to go on a movie watching spree. The first thing that i noticed after reaching the counter that most of the shows were sold out, thanks to Eid. However, as my luck would have it, I got the very last ticket to BahuBali. With trepidation in my heart and palpitation in my stomach.. wait ! I got that wrong. With palpitations in my heart and whatever in my belly, I entered the theatre, full of trepidation. Then….

BahuBali – The Beginning :-
SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus has everything a larger than life movie wants. A grand setting ? Check. Big stars? Check. Production sets of epic proportion? Check. A story that demands a sequel? Check.
Songs with sexual innuendos and weirdly dubbed dialogues for no reason whatsoever? Umm, moving on…

The story follows the life of Shiva, who was rescued from a river and brought up by a local tribal leader. He grows up to a towering hunk who has only one goal in life and i.e. to climb up on a huge mountain. We get to see the glimpse of his physical abilities, when he uproots a huge shivling from the ground and places it on a river bed. (Why he started dancing after it, I am still puzzled about it!) Anyway, story moves on and we get to know that he has an uncanny resemblance with Amarendra Bahubali, the previous king of Mahishmati. The story then proceeds in flashback with Bahubali and his evil brother Bhallaldev and through an epic fight sequence, the movie ends in a cliffhanger with Bahubali getting killed by one of his trustworthies. The reasons shall be explained in the sequel which comes in 2016 , Bahubali – The Conclusion.

SS Rajamouli, a veteran of movies boasting amazing special effects such as Egga (Makkhi in Hindi) and Magadheera, brings fantasy alive through this.The sheer volume of the Mahismati kingdom is astounding. Especially the sequence of golden statue erection and the climax battle sequence. These two are the highlights of the movie. The background score is apt considering the magnitude of the movie.

What bugged me was the creepy and at times funny dubbing of the hindi dialogues. Presented by Karan Johar, the hindi dialogues should have been written by a good writer or should have been dubbed by established actors. The hindi dialogues are tacky and hilarious. So are the hindi versions of the songs. There is an elaborate sequence of taming of the shrew between Prabhas and a gory-turned- gorgeous Tamannah, which has been explained in details here. Do read and judge.

The movie is a must watch just for the sheer detailing and the audacity of a director who wants to match the heights of LOTR, Hobbit and such series of epic movies. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.

***************
I walk out of Bahubali, visually treated and content. To make a feeble attempt, I get into the ticket counter again. Guess what? Again, a last ticket for Bajrangi Bhaijaan !! So I walk back in for a tryst with Bhai…

Bajrangi Bhaijaan :-
Unlike a typical Salman Khan movie, Bajrangi Bhaijaan actually turns out to be a good one. Exploring the strenuous Indo-Pak relationship through the story of a simpleton who crosses the Radcliffe line to reunite a six year old mute girl with her family, the director Kabir Khan gets it right on the money.

Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi is a kindhearted simpleton, known as Bajrangi, for his devotion towards HanumanJi. He meets a six year old mute girl who’s been missing from her mother. They form a deep bond with time. Upon realising that she’s a pakistani, Pawan sets on a mission to reunite her with her parents by taking her to Pakistan. The story continues through their various misadventures with a pakistani journalist Chand Nawab, with finally culminating in a happy, although tearful ending.

The director Kabir Khan gets it absolutely spot on. It’s very difficult to work with a superstar of Salman’s stature but he does it very well, partly due to Salman downplaying his role. A very nicely written script, with some amazingly funny dialogues and breathtaking shots of Kashmir are the main ingredients of this wonderful recipe. For me, the sequence with Salman’s relationship with his father and later Nawaz’s track remain as the deal clinchers.

What works for the movie, is an earnest Salman Khan. He doesn’t flexes his biceps, doesn’t showcase his washboard abs or mouths whistle inducing dialogues. Rather, he plays his part with much genuineness and comes across as a sincere person that you’ll get fond of. The trump of this pack is little Harshali Malhotra who endears the audience with her angelic face and cute smile. She does very well in her role. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the pakistani journalist Chand Nawab is terrific. Although introduced in the second half, Nawaz towers over Salman with his performance. Kareena plays Pawan’s love interest and is confined to couple of songs and looking good. Om Puri and Sharat Saxena do well in their special appearances.

What doesn’t work for me are couple of songs which I felt was unnecessary and the romantic track with Kareena, seemed shallow. A tighter editing would have ensured the run time of 159 minutes to a crispier 130 minutes and still it would have made sense.

A predictable climax with much of Indo-Pak bhaichara love thrown in, kind of drags on. But the movie works for the major part for its saccharine sweetness.

After all,
Aise hain Bhaiya Bajrangi !!!!

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