DIRECTION: Sabbir Khan
DURATION: 2 hours 16 minutes
Most of our childhood tales begin with ek tha raja ek thi rani and most of our formula films with ek hai hero, heroine and on the other side a villain. Never mind that the film takes you to picturesque Kerala or that it introduces you to the ancient Indian martial art form Kalaripayattu with origins dating back to 1362 AD. The net result as always is zero.
Before you can hail the return of the hero, like villain he shows his dark colours and devious shades that would put Ravan with which the parallel is often drawn to shame. As both fall for the same girl, as one is the son of the Kalaripayattu expert and the other his disciple everything not only rolls on the expected lines but is even worse than predictable.
Much of Baaghi is lame that neither bears repetition nor analysis. Amidst the comedy which dumbs down rather than entertains, amidst the fractured love story with scheming father that is Sunil Grover aka Guthi in tow, the only thing that works is action.
Yes Tiger moves his toned-to-perfection body with easy fluidity. It’s easy to believe that he has trained hard in the art form and you almost feel like applauding when he strikes the unbelievable postures and runs like a gazelle, It’s equally credible to imagine that yes he can bash them all. But only up to a point. By the time the film ends even action, ahem its overdose, gets to you and becomes the film’s undoing which has little going for it anyway. That pretty Shraddha too packs a punch and can take on a few goons doesn’t help. Neither her nor the film.
Unless you are a stickler for actioners or typical Hindi masala and belong to those who whistle each time the hero utters something remotely funny and witty skip it. Much of the pre-promotion of the film has centered over how martial arts has gone to China from India. Whether Indian martial art form is older than Chinese or not India has certainly found an answer to Bruce Lee and Jason Statham in Tiger. That’s the only thought that brings a smile in a film that makes you wince otherwise. Tiger keeps saying abhi toh maine start kiya hai. Atta boy, good start you have once again proved you have it in you. Point granted. But the film, one wishes, hadn’t started or at least finished quickly enough, especially in the second half. Alas, it takes a lot of time, a bagful of broken bones before we can utter ek tha villain.