Bajrangi Bhaijaan Movie Review:
A man with a magnanimous spirit helps a mute girl from Pakistan return home.
Film: Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Cast: Salman Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Harshaali Malhotra
Director: Kabir Khan
First things first. There is no doubting Salman’s secular credentials. He is one actor who never tires of talking about the multi-religious ethnicity of his family and he has reasons to do so. But now he has decided to extend this ideology to the themes of his films as well.
With Bajrangi, you meet a whole new Salman – this is not the shirt-ripping, ab-flaunting, dialogue-maro-ing Khan but a simple, innocent and honest man, who fails, gets tricked and beaten up – but never shaken from his purpose. With gentleness and no gimmicks, Salman puts on a polished, luminous performance – and is matched by little Harshaali, whose vulnerability and warmth are amazing. Add a crackling Nawazuddin, as small-time Pakistani journalist Chand Nawab, hungry for ‘Bariking News’ but moved beyond TRPs by Bajrangi’s quest, and the screen’s alight with lovely acting, with a hilarious ‘Begum’, a child who glows and wanes like the sun, humans who treasure humanity beyond barbed wire and border guards.
Alongside memorable performances (Om Puri chuckles through a Maulvi cameo while Sharat Saxena wrestles with prejudice as Bajrangi’s potential father-in-law), the story features gentle comedy – Bajrangi’s chats with Pakistan’s border security are hilarious – and soulful qawallis. Its beautiful visuals travel unobtrusively from mohallas to mountain peaks, across priceless moments including Bajrangi’s panic-struck stammering to pretty fiance Rasika (Kareena), “Munni, woh, woh – woh hai!”
The plot could be tighter, sagging slightly until Nawaz’s lively entry. However, you see a director evolve – Kabir Khan’s fascination with borders shows again, but while his Ek Tha Tiger was a glamorous cosmopolitan cocktail, Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a pure South Asian jalebi, rounded, warm, simple and sweet. Kabir captures the tension of India-Pakistan without negativity and with soft charm, skillfully using a superstar as an actor, a child artist as a superstar and a border as a muse that opens up the world.