By Anusha Goel, Batch of 2018
Star cast: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Harshaali Malhotra, Nawazuddin Siddique, Om Puri (Special Appearance)
Director: Kabir Khan
Shahida is a beautiful, but mute Pakistani six year old who is left behind in India, the ‘paraya watan’. In the backdrop of her parents worrying, enters Salman Khan, a simple man with a large heart. What follows is their journey to get her back home, but without any passports and visas. Their honesty, innocence and naivety are the only things they carry.
Without any item numbers or a jumme ki raat; no power packed action with heavy-duty punches and gravity-defying stunts; there is no villain in this movie, nor does the heroine need any saving or avenging. It is hard to believe, but this is a Salman Khan movie. One of his best and probably his most coherent performance in recent times.
Salman Khan plays Pawan, a Hanuman devotee who bows down to every monkey no matter what the situation; he is so entertainingly honest that even when the Pakistani cops are after him, believing him to be a hindustani jasoos, he answers with this typical reply – “Humara naam Pawan hai. Pyaar se sab hume Bajrangi bulate hai aur hum taaro ke neeche se aaye hai, permission leke”. In this movie, Salman Khan portrays the character of a very simple clean-hearted man, but it is through the character’s humanity that Pawan becomes larger than life. Instead of cashing on his super stardom or physique, this movie explores his acting skills. But, the real star of the movie is the child artist, Harshaali. She has barely spoken two words in the movie but she’s one of the main reasons for the audience to be glues to their seats. The other two child artists – the one who plays young Pawan, and the other portraying Kareena’s brother – have done a good job as well.
The first half, shot in locales of Old Delhi, is a tad too long. Kareena, who features majorly in this half, is beautiful as ever with her gorgeous salwar-suits but her character is under–written. It’s a light part with songs such as Selfie le le re, Tu chahiye and a song on ‘chicken’ – which is completely unnecessary.
The second half is from where the movie actually begins. Kashmir is captured by some extra-ordinary camera-work which is definitely on the same level (if not better) as Haider. Then there is Nawaz Siddiqui, as a small- time reporter, who brings the light moments and creates the name ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. His lines and timing will dictate your emotions between laughter and tears at his will. Om Puri makes a short but impactful presence as a Madrassa teacher. ‘Bhar do jholi’ the qawwali by Adnan Sami and the background score are the major attractions of this half, would definitely melt even the stone – hearted. The climax is the only drawback – manipulative and exaggerated. But don’t worry, Salman’s tears would still keep you attached.
Why you should watch it:
Watch this heartwarming tale for Salman and Harshaali. Unlike his other movies, this one does have a decent storyline. It touches upon different religious insecurities and reservations – be it Pawan’s reluctancy to enter a mosque or believing Munni (or Shahida) to be a Brahmin as she is fair. It reiterates how love is greater than all and is the only thing which can end this animosity between the two nations. Another refreshing thing about this movie is that it doesn’t show Pakistan in a bad light, this movie refers to the humanity in every person, devoid of nationality.
The movie ends on a larger than life note, something which seems completely impossible in reality. But I think, that was the aim with which the movie was made in the first place. They made a movie of one of the most volatile issues in the region, they wade through the movie with nothing but a simple man’s story, and they end with a message of democracy. This is one of the movies which should not be judged by its ends, but through its journey.
On the whole, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is definitely a paisa vasool movie with many heart-wrenching moments. It’s a perfect Eidi for all Bhaijaan fans!