Movie Review::Bajrangi Bhaijaan

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Cinema in India is a religion. And a superstar’s movie release is no less than a festival to all its followers. So what are we waiting for? Salman Khan is back with this year’s Eid bonanza; Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Produced by Salman Khan himself and directed by Kabir Khan(of New York and Ek Tha Tiger fame) the movie stars Salman Khan as Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi aka Bajrangi, Kareen Kapoor Khan as his love interest Rasika, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Chand Nawab  and most importantly Harshaali Malhotra as Munni/Shahida. Lets see how this one fares…

As seen from the trailers, a little girl from Pakistan misses her train on way back and is lost in India. As expected she bumps into our “khuda ka nek banda” Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi who is Bajrangbali’s param bhakt with a golden heart. After initial hiccups, Bajrangi decides at once he himself is going to Pakistan to ensure the adorable kid is back with her parents. Torn between his ladylove’s father’s restrictions and his promise to the little girl he sets off on a journey which ranges from deserts of Rajasthan to hills of PoK  meeting different characters enroute.

Kabir Khan puts his heart in a very novel script and garnishes the screenplay with some very heart touching dialogues. One of the best ones is where Nawaz breaks out to a news channel; “Yahaan sab log sirf nafrat bechna chahte hain, inke paas pyaar ke liye koi waqt nahi”. It really shakes you up!

Coming to performances, Salman is in mood yet again. As a character which expects him to play a very non-heroic character; he does it with elan. His scenes with the little girl are absolutely heart warming. Even though he does not have the best of dialogues; he is just there in every frame adding that zing to the scene. Kareen Kapoor Khan gets limited scope where she does justice to the role. One character who plays to the gallery and takes away all the whistles is Nawazuddin Siddiqui. As reporter Nawab Chand he is on fire. As soon as he enters the story, the movie starts running at high steam. He holds his best for the climax where he moves the crowds to tears. But the performance of the movie clearly belongs to the little girl Harshaali. Knowing her role has no dialogues; her expressions and body language steals your hearts. Right from the first scene, each of expressions, her smile, her tears, her fear; it touches you.  Her heart warming performance is sure to make your eyes moist.

Not that the movie is without flaws; scenes are predictable, so are some of the characters and movie gets too novel and preachy.Music is average with no thumping tracks.

Somewhere during the second half, Salman Khan spots a monkey and immediately comes to a pranam pose with him being a hanuman bhakt and starts praying. Nawaz scoffs at him for bowing at an animal but soon sees the little girl also come to same pose with her eyes shut. Seeing this, Nawaz too quickly shuts his eyes and comes in the same pose. This is the honesty and innocence of the story and performances which makes the movie a must watch despite all its flaws.

-Ashwath

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