Rating – * * *

Movie of this week is Bajrangi Bhaijaan…

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I am sure most of you folks must have already watched this movie, after all the movie has collected over 100Cr on the opening weekend breaking all the other movie records in the past. (Yeah, I know Bhaubali broke almost all records but as my title says “Bollywood Movie Reviews”, let us stick to Hindi movies only at this moment).
I read a few reviews (biased or unbiased, paid vs. non-paid) but my review is totally my view point and I am NOT a Bhai fan!!!

Story– So the movie starts in the mountains of Azaad Kashmir (or POK – take whichever you feel better), with a cute little girl who cannot speak, playing near house and then how she almost dies after slipping from hills but managed to stuck on the cliff with a support of a tree. Of course, let us not go into details about how she managed to hang in there at least couple of hours. Since she cannot speak, people somehow manage to find her and conclude that she needs to go to India on Ajmer-e-Sharif dargah to get the blessings so she could speak, in case she gets stuck is such situation again. Good Idea!!!

So this girl and her Mother arrive in India, go to dargah to seek blessings and of course mother of the girl being a sound sleeper does not notice her girl getting out of the train to play with a lamb and voila, train which was stuck on a track due to technical difficulties suddenly starts, leaving behind this poor girl back in India.

Then there enters Sallu bhai and story starts with mission to reunite this cute girl with her parents back in Pakistan. Who else can complete this mission? – Of course the hero, Sallu Bhai. So the movie basically takes you through the journey of Salman and Harshali (cute girl) until she meets her parent in Pakistan, with support of Pakistani Journalist, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

While, I am not a bhai fan, I must say in this movie I liked the way he portrayed his character of innocent hanuman devotee. To be honest and to put it very bluntly – people like me, who don’t like Salman’s avatar in movies like Dabaang, Kick or Ready, can survive easily through this movie. Though I read review by renowned journalist who nowadays writes some non-sense articles for NDTV and even started writing movie reviews now, stating that it was not a Salman that was expected. Hello, he is an actor and he can portray all kind of characters, so why do you want to stereotype him and then blame Bollywood movies repeating same, BS stories again and again.

Coming back to story, nothing new about the story, really not much depth in the story, it is not strong. The movie is all about flood of emotions and based on India-Pakistan love-hate relationships. Again, Indian entertainment industry is now well aware and smart on how to get Indian people hooked on such emotions, otherwise story is same as it was for Gadar with some major changes, characters replacement and of course without any ‘Dhai kilo ka haath’ so not much violence at all.

The very basic fact ignored here was, if Pakistani journalist can take help from social media and news media to have this girl find her parents, why can’t India media? Especially Kareena (who plays teacher and educated person in this movie – otherwise I am not sure why was she even needed in this movie) who could have done the same thing by being in India. Why Salman has to go to Pakistan and take help via Nawazuddin Siddiqui by using YouTube in Pakistan? Is it banned in India (pun intended)?  Those are some basic flaws in the story but from director and writer’s point of view everything is justified when flood of emotions surrounds Indian viewer’s brains while watching this movie (seriously!!!)

Acting – as I said earlier I liked Salman’s character and the way he portrayed it in the movie, no hanky-panky and stupid acts or dance. Innocent, sincere person throughout the movie. Harshali, as much as she looks cute in the movie, does even better job at acting. I will not hesitate to give an additional star for this girl’s acting. Let us not talk about Mr. Nawazuddin Siddiqui. I actually went to watch this movie for this him and the girl, even though Nawaz’s entry is almost after intermission, his acting is as always the best!!! He portrayed not so successful funny journo, a kind person who believes in Salman and help till last minute to reunite this girl with parent, all comic timings and the way he delivers dialogues in each these scenes, simple superb!

Verdict – For not being bhai fan, I was so determined to give this movie 2 stars but as I said acting if these 3 leading stars, forced me to give 3 starts for the move as well.

The interesting fact is that – the movie depicts love-hate relationship not only between two countries but two religions also and surprisingly, no controversy emerged in India media related to this movie and on top of that, there is no harm or injustice done to one particular religion in the movie – really commendable!!! (Amir Khan, Raju Hirani – are you guys listening?)

A little bit of emotional overdose and not-so-strong story and some of the irrelevant things like Kareena Kapoor’s character in the movie and some unnecessary songs and a bit slow pace, are reasons of loss of those additional 2 stars!!!

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