You know, the moment Bollywood movies will stop using ‘balle balle balle‘ in the background score for a Punjabi character, I’ll be the happiest person ever. But today is not that day. After watching another ‘entertainer’ churned out by the industry, I really don’t think that day will come. Sabbir Khan, the man who has given us gems like Kambakkht Ishq and Heropanti presents Baaghi: A Rebel For Love, where the hero Ronnie (Tiger Shroff) is a rebel without a cause. His dying father packs him off to a martial arts training institute in Kerala because Tiger is a bad boy who drinks beer and fucks fear. The guruji who is a great advocate of the proverb ‘spare the rod, spoil the child‘ is a no-nonsense guy who puts Ronnie in place by hitting him hard whenever he can. While Ronnie is doing all the gadha-majdoori at the academy, Shraddha Kapoor plays Siya, the not terminally ill version of her character in Ek Villain; this time she loves the rain and due to of lack of friends, is often seen talking to the clouds. The lead couple’s introduction is eerily similar to the cringe-worthy – “Are you like checking me out” scene with Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan in Dhoom 2. They also have their respective punchlines, Ronnie says “abhi toh maine start kiya hai“, similar to his ‘dialogue’ in Heropanti – “sabko aati nahi meri jaati nahi” whenever he can and Siya says ‘tu bahut aage jayega‘ to Ronnie without any context. Oh, also, it rains whenever they meet. Their relationship is so dependent on the rains, Siya takes it as a sign that her boyfriend is alive the moment is starts pouring, if only this was a real solution, there would be no drought wherever Ronnie and Siya decide to stay next.
In a recent interview, the director said how Baaghi is inspired by Ramayan, too bad he forgot to mention the other story his movie is so heavily inspired from (an Indonesian movie, also starts with an R). Talking about Ramayan, Baaghi has its own version of a supervillain, played by Sudheer Babu, a popular actor from the Telegu film industry. Sudheer has done a good job, it’s just an unfortunate co-incidence that he looks similar to Sachiin J Joshi, the man who has introduced himself thrice in Bollywood but never found any takers, maybe that’s why I couldn’t take him seriously. Sunil Grover plays Siya’s father and does a good job as the poor man’s Shakti Kapoor, this guy deserves better. Sanjay Mishra plays a blind taxi driver for comic relief and everyone knows he deserves better too. There’s a kid who can’t speak and Tiger is very attached to him. I know the child is put in the movie to invoke sympathies, but the only words he can say are ‘ya ya ya‘ and I was often wondering when he’d start singing Jo Bhi Main from Rockstar, Biswapati Sarkar, the man who plays Arnab in TVF videos is there too, as Tiger’s sidekick. The dialogues are poorly written, the story and screenplay have no hold, the two good things about Baaghi is the pace and the action sequences. The music isn’t remarkable, except Sab Tera, or maybe I just liked Shraddha’s bralet in the song. In my humble opinion, Shraddha needs to do something other than play to the stereotype of a manic pixie dream girl. Tiger, on the other hand is one of the best action heroes we have, the guy needs a decent story and a competent director to really bring out his talent. As the title says, a YouTube cut of his action sequences from this film will be out soon and I suggest you watch that instead of watching the entire movie.
Rating: 1.5 stars