For Salman, Kabir Khan goes Raju Hirani way.
Just like all Salman movies Bajrangi Bhaijaan is also made for the masses, but slightly in a different way. The name is a cliché itself. Salman as a Bajrang Bali devotee and it has released on Eid, to please the crowd of both the religions. But I believe cinema in India does not have any religion and the only religion people swear by is their larger than life super star.
Let me say that this is Salman’s best movie in ages. The core fan following of Salman may not like the movie for this one does not feature the usual kick ass Salman, but this one showcases him as a do-gooder, Hanuman bhakt and honest man who could go to any limits to help a little girl.
Shahida is a vocally challenged Pakistani girl whose mother takes her to Hazrat Nizammuddin Delhi to pray for her. On the way back Shahida is left behind accidently and encounters Pavan Kumar Chaturvedi who is dancing on the streets to the tune of Selfie song. She starts to follow Pavan, he takes her with him and swears to take her to her parents by any means.
At first since the girl cannot talk it is an interesting unfolding of her beliefs and food habits that makes Salman and Kareena guess her true identity to be, from Brahmin Hindu to Kshatriya to finally Muslim and Pakistani. The first half smoothly establishes the relationship between Pavan and Munni as he calls her.
The journey into Pakistan is even much more interesting than the first half which lets you see the neighboring country in a new light of relatability which is unpopular in the regular Hindi movies. In his crusade to find the girl’s parents he Chand Nawab a small time reporter as his alibi and many good hearted Pakistani’s who support his cause..
The movie’s story might be simplistic but the screenplay and the fine line of actors do take it to several notches up. The illogical plot twists seem forgivable due to the imminent motive of the good hearted protagonist and his fellow supporters.
The director intentionally takes us through the deep rooted prejudices present in our society towards other religions through the lead character and makes you take that journey across the border to understand that humanity has no religion. Every faith and religion in the world believes in kindness and helping each other.
As the dim witted but strong willed Pavan Salman does with love what Sunny Deol did with violence in Gadar, crosses the border for love. Salman wins you over with his downgraded performance and makes you long for this man, there is just one scene where he uses his muscles and vow what a scene it is.
After Salman there is this one actor for whom the crowd really applauded at the entry and it was Nawaz. With his super fine acting this actor has made a mark and the chemistry of the trio is amazing through the second half.
But the one character who takes away all the limelight is the new comer Harshali as the mute child who talks through her innocent expressions, she just bowls you over with her smile. I wish to see more of child centric films in India with such fine actors.
Rest of the cast is just okay, Kareena plays Pavan’s love interest and she is alright,
The cinematography is top notch the Himalayan hills look stunning in the opening sequence and the journey through Pakistan is well captured. The songs of the film are already popular and unlike many Hindi movies here they really take the movie forward.
There is clear influence of Raju Hirani style of cinema and it works fine here. You will laugh and cry both for this Bhaijaan and Munni. Overlook the flaws for this one has got its heart in the right place, go watch it.