Bajrangi Bhaijaan

One Salman starrer nobody will regret watching!


Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Starring: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor khan, Harshali Malhotra
Directed by: Kabir Khan

Consensus: 4 Stars
Impressive!

Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Starring: Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor khan, Harshali Malhotra
Directed by: Kabir Khan

Consensus: 4 Stars
Impressive!


Rated

N/A

Hindi Script

बजरंगी भाईजान

AKA

Brother Bajrangi

Starring

Salman Khan
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Harshali Malhotra
Sharat Saxena
Rajesh Sharma

Written by

K. V. Vijayendra Prasad
Kabir Khan
Kausar Munir
Parveez Shaikh
Asad Hussain

Directed by

Kabir Khan


coming up

What to Expect

Eid and a Salman Khan film have almost become a ritual now, and unless you are iconoclastic in nature, you end up completing the ritual without much passion or prejudice. Those who profess to have a view on a Salman Khan film and are brave enough to go to town with it are often asked to hush up with Box Office figures as the proof of the anti-thesis. Writing a review for any Salman Khan film then is just a formality, and those reading it are being kind to indulge the writer. I am happy to report, however, that Bajrangi Bhaijaan (lit.: Brother Bajrangi) is the most un-Salman movie to have come out in a long time,  or – to put in perspective – in the post-Wanted era.

In a scene post-intermission, when Nawaz’s character Chand asks Salman’s Prem Kumar Chaturvedi a. k. a. Bajrangi as to how he plans on finding the girl’s parents, he replies, “With the help of Bajrang Bali (a. k. a. Hanuman, the Monkey God)!”, to which Chand candidly enquires if Bajrang Bali would be able to help him in Pakistan too. Bajrangi goes silent, and despite being a devotee, for a moment, his belief is shaken and he wonders if Gods are limited by ethnicities and boundaries too, and – whether you like it or not – so will you. Which is the last Salman movie that made you stop and think, never mind if it was for a moment?

What’s it About?

A mute girl Shahida (Harshali Malhotra) from Pakistan gets left behind in India while visiting a shrine with her mother. She stumbles upon a good natured commoner who is lovingly called Bajrangi (Salman Khan) due to his devotion to Bajrang Bali, The Monkey God and who is trying very hard to make something of his life to win the approval of the girl’s father he is in love with. After much ado and due to lack of any other option thereof, Bajrangi decides to take matters into his hands and travel across the border, sans a Passport or Visa, to reunite the kid with her parents.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

'Sup monkey? You chillin' out there aight?

‘Sup monkey? You chillin’ out there aight?

Director Kabir Khan must have made a list of all the usual spectacles and essentials that a Salman starrer has, if only to be particular about not including them. The end result, therefore, is a coherent and effective narrative without the interruption of an (or any) item song, a pointless and shirtless Salman or any unnecessary elaborate flying action sequences, to name a few. To top it all, Salman isn’t even allowed to be the signature goof as has been the case in Kick, Ready, Bodyguard and countless other dubious successes featuring him prominently. It must have taken some effort from Kabir Khan to not include the pharmoola for potentially striking predictable gold at the box office. Having said that, the movie is not without its fair share of generic elements (there’s patriotism for an example) but they’re all done in good taste and executed without any fanfare or fervor. The story has a lot of scope for mindless distractions and over-indulgence and it is entirely to the credit of director Kabir Khan and his Writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasad (who is also the writer for Bahubali and its director S. S. Rajamouli’s father) that they avoid the usual and the predictable but continue to surprise you pleasantly whilst simultaneously keeping you entertained. Keeping in line with the mood of the film, the soundtrack is a delight by Pritam. There is the chart-busting Selfie Le Le Re (lit.: Take a Selfie, Y’All!), the soulful Tu Chahiye (lit.: I Want You) by Atif Aslam, the Adnan Sami re-sung qawwali Bhar Do Jholi Meri originally by the Sabri Brothers, and Neelesh Mishra’s beautifully written Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata (lit.: Speak Up, Life!). My personal favourite, above all, unabashedly ended up being the Mohit Chauhan crooned Chicken Kuk-Doo-Koo (I know, I know! But you gotta heart it to know it!).

While the first half of the film is fairly straight and thoroughly entertaining, the post-intermission proceedings take the logic a bit for granted, and the script has some plot-holes skulking around. I think in the larger scheme of things, however, you would be wiling to overlook them, mostly because of the good natured screenplay and also entirely because of the lack of any chest-thumping, which is usually the case in such situations in Hindi-language mainstream potboilers. I’m thanking my stars the movie didn’t take the Gadar route. A lot of my appreciation towards the movie is also due to the fact that while the movie displays the differences in people’s beliefs, ethnicities and practices it also, in its own subtle way, accentuates the tolerance that people have despite not being entirely accepting of the differences. The Brahmin household of a certain family is disapproving of their Muslim neighbor cooking meat but are still tolerant of it. On a similar note, while Bajrangi is hesitant to enter a mosque in Pakistan, the maulana there is more than welcoming and doesn’t shy away from helping him – or even greeting him with a Jai Shree Ram – when he senses Bajrangi’s discomfort at a Salaam.

To Perform or Not to Perform

How many movies have we done together again?

How many movies have we done together again?

Salman Khan (Phir Milenge; lit.: We’ll Meet Again) puts up a genuine and controlled performance and his good natured act is both convincing and endearing. Salman plays the director’s actor here and doesn’t step out to do ‘his thing’ as is the case in most of his other movies. Kareena Kapoor Khan (Chameli) looks like a million bucks and in her limited screen time displays quite a range and you can’t help but wish she did more movies. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (The Lunchbox) as the Pakistani journalist is effective, as an actor of his calibre is expected to be. He single handedly elevates many scenes post intermission and mostly during the climax. The supporting cast with Sharat Saxena (Hasee to Phasee; lit.: If She Smiles, She’s Done For), Rajesh Sharma (No One Killed Jessica) and others are well cast and help the proceedings. The real star of the show however, is the wonder kid Harshali Malhotra who looks even better than Kareena Kapoor Khan, acts better than Salman Khan and has more screen time and presence than both put together. Harshali is one of the strongest reasons why Bajrangi Bhaijaan works so well. She surprises you with her arresting screen presence and – in some scenes – with her acting chops. Together, the cast puts up a strong performance, but Harshali (at the risk of repeating myself) tops them all.

Worth it?

In one word, absolutely!

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is one Salman starrer that all will like, most will enjoy immensely and none will regret watching. This is the kind of film that you take your parents along to and plan to watch with a bunch of friends. This is the most Salman appears to be involved in a film since Dabangg, and also the most fun you are going to have while watching a Salman-starrer while keeping both your heart and brains intact. It is that kind of a movie where it doesn’t appear out of place or uncharacteristic when a Muslim says Jai Shree Ram or when a Hindu puts up his hand as a way of saying Salaam to bid adieu. Last week we had Bahubali, and this week Bajrangi Bhaijaan; what a month this is turning out to B!

Consensus: 4 Stars
Impressive!
About the Author

Sajan Gupta

Reluctant banker. Aspirational writer. Movie enthusiast. Voracious reader. Part-time ambitious; full-time dreamer. Runs the "Reel Life" page on Facebook.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like Us on Facebookand Twitter!


Rated

N/A

Hindi Script

बजरंगी भाईजान

AKA

Brother Bajrangi

Starring

Salman Khan
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Harshali Malhotra
Sharat Saxena
Rajesh Sharma

Written by

K. V. Vijayendra Prasad
Kabir Khan
Kausar Munir
Parveez Shaikh
Asad Hussain

Directed by

Kabir Khan


What to Expect

Eid and a Salman Khan film have almost become a ritual now, and unless you are iconoclastic in nature, you end up completing the ritual without much passion or prejudice. Those who profess to have a view on a Salman Khan film and are brave enough to go to town with it are often asked to hush up with Box Office figures as the proof of the anti-thesis. Writing a review for any Salman Khan film then is just a formality, and those reading it are being kind to indulge the writer. I am happy to report, however, that Bajrangi Bhaijaan (lit.: Brother Bajrangi) is the most un-Salman movie to have come out in a long time,  or – to put in perspective – in the post-Wanted era.

In a scene post-intermission, when Nawaz’s character Chand asks Salman’s Prem Kumar Chaturvedi a. k. a. Bajrangi as to how he plans on finding the girl’s parents, he replies, “With the help of Bajrang Bali (a. k. a. Hanuman, the Monkey God)!”, to which Chand candidly enquires if Bajrang Bali would be able to help him in Pakistan too. Bajrangi goes silent, and despite being a devotee, for a moment, his belief is shaken and he wonders if Gods are limited by ethnicities and boundaries too, and – whether you like it or not – so will you. Which is the last Salman movie that made you stop and think, never mind if it was for a moment?

What’s it About?

A mute girl Shahida (Harshali Malhotra) from Pakistan gets left behind in India while visiting a shrine with her mother. She stumbles upon a good natured commoner who is lovingly called Bajrangi (Salman Khan) due to his devotion to Bajrang Bali, The Monkey God and who is trying very hard to make something of his life to win the approval of the girl’s father he is in love with. After much ado and due to lack of any other option thereof, Bajrangi decides to take matters into his hands and travel across the border, sans a Passport or Visa, to reunite the kid with her parents.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

'Sup monkey? You chillin' out there aight?

‘Sup monkey? You chillin’ out there aight?

Director Kabir Khan must have made a list of all the usual spectacles and essentials that a Salman starrer has, if only to be particular about not including them. The end result, therefore, is a coherent and effective narrative without the interruption of an (or any) item song, a pointless and shirtless Salman or any unnecessary elaborate flying action sequences, to name a few. To top it all, Salman isn’t even allowed to be the signature goof as has been the case in Kick, Ready, Bodyguard and countless other dubious successes featuring him prominently. It must have taken some effort from Kabir Khan to not include the pharmoola for potentially striking predictable gold at the box office. Having said that, the movie is not without its fair share of generic elements (there’s patriotism for an example) but they’re all done in good taste and executed without any fanfare or fervor. The story has a lot of scope for mindless distractions and over-indulgence and it is entirely to the credit of director Kabir Khan and his Writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasad (who is also the writer for Bahubali and its director S. S. Rajamouli’s father) that they avoid the usual and the predictable but continue to surprise you pleasantly whilst simultaneously keeping you entertained. Keeping in line with the mood of the film, the soundtrack is a delight by Pritam. There is the chart-busting Selfie Le Le Re (lit.: Take a Selfie, Y’All!), the soulful Tu Chahiye (lit.: I Want You) by Atif Aslam, the Adnan Sami re-sung qawwali Bhar Do Jholi Meri originally by the Sabri Brothers, and Neelesh Mishra’s beautifully written Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata (lit.: Speak Up, Life!). My personal favourite, above all, unabashedly ended up being the Mohit Chauhan crooned Chicken Kuk-Doo-Koo (I know, I know! But you gotta heart it to know it!).

While the first half of the film is fairly straight and thoroughly entertaining, the post-intermission proceedings take the logic a bit for granted, and the script has some plot-holes skulking around. I think in the larger scheme of things, however, you would be wiling to overlook them, mostly because of the good natured screenplay and also entirely because of the lack of any chest-thumping, which is usually the case in such situations in Hindi-language mainstream potboilers. I’m thanking my stars the movie didn’t take the Gadar route. A lot of my appreciation towards the movie is also due to the fact that while the movie displays the differences in people’s beliefs, ethnicities and practices it also, in its own subtle way, accentuates the tolerance that people have despite not being entirely accepting of the differences. The Brahmin household of a certain family is disapproving of their Muslim neighbor cooking meat but are still tolerant of it. On a similar note, while Bajrangi is hesitant to enter a mosque in Pakistan, the maulana there is more than welcoming and doesn’t shy away from helping him – or even greeting him with a Jai Shree Ram – when he senses Bajrangi’s discomfort at a Salaam.

To Perform or Not to Perform

How many movies have we done together again?

How many movies have we done together again?

Salman Khan (Phir Milenge; lit.: We’ll Meet Again) puts up a genuine and controlled performance and his good natured act is both convincing and endearing. Salman plays the director’s actor here and doesn’t step out to do ‘his thing’ as is the case in most of his other movies. Kareena Kapoor Khan (Chameli) looks like a million bucks and in her limited screen time displays quite a range and you can’t help but wish she did more movies. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (The Lunchbox) as the Pakistani journalist is effective, as an actor of his calibre is expected to be. He single handedly elevates many scenes post intermission and mostly during the climax. The supporting cast with Sharat Saxena (Hasee to Phasee; lit.: If She Smiles, She’s Done For), Rajesh Sharma (No One Killed Jessica) and others are well cast and help the proceedings. The real star of the show however, is the wonder kid Harshali Malhotra who looks even better than Kareena Kapoor Khan, acts better than Salman Khan and has more screen time and presence than both put together. Harshali is one of the strongest reasons why Bajrangi Bhaijaan works so well. She surprises you with her arresting screen presence and – in some scenes – with her acting chops. Together, the cast puts up a strong performance, but Harshali (at the risk of repeating myself) tops them all.

Worth it?

In one word, absolutely!

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is one Salman starrer that all will like, most will enjoy immensely and none will regret watching. This is the kind of film that you take your parents along to and plan to watch with a bunch of friends. This is the most Salman appears to be involved in a film since Dabangg, and also the most fun you are going to have while watching a Salman-starrer while keeping both your heart and brains intact. It is that kind of a movie where it doesn’t appear out of place or uncharacteristic when a Muslim says Jai Shree Ram or when a Hindu puts up his hand as a way of saying Salaam to bid adieu. Last week we had Bahubali, and this week Bajrangi Bhaijaan; what a month this is turning out to B!

Consensus: 4 Stars
Impressive!
About the Author

Sajan Gupta

Reluctant banker. Aspirational writer. Movie enthusiast. Voracious reader. Part-time ambitious; full-time dreamer. Runs the "Reel Life" page on Facebook.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like Us on Facebookand Twitter!

What to Expect

Not-So-Bad Romance!

Not-So-Bad Romance!

Eid and a Salman Khan film have almost become a ritual now, and unless you are iconoclastic in nature, you end up completing the ritual without much passion or prejudice. Those who profess to have a view on a Salman Khan film and are brave enough to go to town with it are often asked to hush up with Box Office figures as the proof of the anti-thesis. Writing a review for any Salman Khan film then is just a formality, and those reading it are being kind to indulge the writer. I am happy to report, however, that Bajrangi Bhaijaan (lit.: Brother Bajrangi) is the most un-Salman movie to have come out in a long time,  or – to put in perspective – in the post-Wanted era.

In a scene post-intermission, when Nawaz’s character Chand asks Salman’s Prem Kumar Chaturvedi a. k. a. Bajrangi as to how he plans on finding the girl’s parents, he replies, “With the help of Bajrang Bali (a. k. a. Hanuman, the Monkey God)!”, to which Chand candidly enquires if Bajrang Bali would be able to help him in Pakistan too. Bajrangi goes silent, and despite being a devotee, for a moment, his belief is shaken and he wonders if Gods are limited by ethnicities and boundaries too, and – whether you like it or not – so will you. Which is the last Salman movie that made you stop and think, never mind if it was for a moment?

What’s it About?

A mute girl Shahida (Harshali Malhotra) from Pakistan gets left behind in India while visiting a shrine with her mother. She stumbles upon a good natured commoner who is lovingly called Bajrangi (Salman Khan) due to his devotion to Bajrang Bali, The Monkey God and who is trying very hard to make something of his life to win the approval of the girl’s father he is in love with. After much ado and due to lack of any other option thereof, Bajrangi decides to take matters into his hands and travel across the border, sans a Passport or Visa, to reunite the kid with her parents.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

'Sup monkey? You chillin' out there aight?

‘Sup monkey? You chillin’ out there aight?

Director Kabir Khan must have made a list of all the usual spectacles and essentials that a Salman starrer has, if only to be particular about not including them. The end result, therefore, is a coherent and effective narrative without the interruption of an (or any) item song, a pointless and shirtless Salman or any unnecessary elaborate flying action sequences, to name a few. To top it all, Salman isn’t even allowed to be the signature goof as has been the case in Kick, Ready, Bodyguard and countless other dubious successes featuring him prominently. It must have taken some effort from Kabir Khan to not include the pharmoola for potentially striking predictable gold at the box office. Having said that, the movie is not without its fair share of generic elements (there’s patriotism for an example) but they’re all done in good taste and executed without any fanfare or fervor. The story has a lot of scope for mindless distractions and over-indulgence and it is entirely to the credit of director Kabir Khan and his Writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasad (who is also the writer for Bahubali and its director S. S. Rajamouli’s father) that they avoid the usual and the predictable but continue to surprise you pleasantly whilst simultaneously keeping you entertained. Keeping in line with the mood of the film, the soundtrack is a delight by Pritam. There is the chart-busting Selfie Le Le Re (lit.: Take a Selfie, Y’All!), the soulful Tu Chahiye (lit.: I Want You) by Atif Aslam, the Adnan Sami re-sung qawwali Bhar Do Jholi Meri originally by the Sabri Brothers, and Neelesh Mishra’s beautifully written Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata (lit.: Speak Up, Life!). My personal favourite, above all, unabashedly ended up being the Mohit Chauhan crooned Chicken Kuk-Doo-Koo (I know, I know! But you gotta heart it to know it!).

While the first half of the film is fairly straight and thoroughly entertaining, the post-intermission proceedings take the logic a bit for granted, and the script has some plot-holes skulking around. I think in the larger scheme of things, however, you would be wiling to overlook them, mostly because of the good natured screenplay and also entirely because of the lack of any chest-thumping, which is usually the case in such situations in Hindi-language mainstream potboilers. I’m thanking my stars the movie didn’t take the Gadar route. A lot of my appreciation towards the movie is also due to the fact that while the movie displays the differences in people’s beliefs, ethnicities and practices it also, in its own subtle way, accentuates the tolerance that people have despite not being entirely accepting of the differences. The Brahmin household of a certain family is disapproving of their Muslim neighbor cooking meat but are still tolerant of it. On a similar note, while Bajrangi is hesitant to enter a mosque in Pakistan, the maulana there is more than welcoming and doesn’t shy away from helping him – or even greeting him with a Jai Shree Ram – when he senses Bajrangi’s discomfort at a Salaam.

To Perform or Not to Perform

How many movies have we done together again?

How many movies have we done together again?

Salman Khan (Phir Milenge; lit.: We’ll Meet Again) puts up a genuine and controlled performance and his good natured act is both convincing and endearing. Salman plays the director’s actor here and doesn’t step out to do ‘his thing’ as is the case in most of his other movies. Kareena Kapoor Khan (Chameli) looks like a million bucks and in her limited screen time displays quite a range and you can’t help but wish she did more movies. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (The Lunchbox) as the Pakistani journalist is effective, as an actor of his calibre is expected to be. He single handedly elevates many scenes post intermission and mostly during the climax. The supporting cast with Sharat Saxena (Hasee to Phasee; lit.: If She Smiles, She’s Done For), Rajesh Sharma (No One Killed Jessica) and others are well cast and help the proceedings. The real star of the show however, is the wonder kid Harshali Malhotra who looks even better than Kareena Kapoor Khan, acts better than Salman Khan and has more screen time and presence than both put together. Harshali is one of the strongest reasons why Bajrangi Bhaijaan works so well. She surprises you with her arresting screen presence and – in some scenes – with her acting chops. Together, the cast puts up a strong performance, but Harshali (at the risk of repeating myself) tops them all.

Worth it?

In one word, absolutely!

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is one Salman starrer that all will like, most will enjoy immensely and none will regret watching. This is the kind of film that you take your parents along to and plan to watch with a bunch of friends. This is the most Salman appears to be involved in a film since Dabangg, and also the most fun you are going to have while watching a Salman-starrer while keeping both your heart and brains intact. It is that kind of a movie where it doesn’t appear out of place or uncharacteristic when a Muslim says Jai Shree Ram or when a Hindu puts up his hand as a way of saying Salaam to bid adieu. Last week we had Bahubali, and this week Bajrangi Bhaijaan; what a month this is turning out to B!

About the Author

Sajan Gupta

Reluctant banker. Aspirational writer. Movie enthusiast. Voracious reader. Part-time ambitious; full-time dreamer. Runs the "Reel Life" page on Facebook.

We’re viral

Like usFollow us

What to Expect

Not-So-Bad Romance!

Not-So-Bad Romance!

Eid and a Salman Khan film have almost become a ritual now, and unless you are iconoclastic in nature, you end up completing the ritual without much passion or prejudice. Those who profess to have a view on a Salman Khan film and are brave enough to go to town with it are often asked to hush up with Box Office figures as the proof of the anti-thesis. Writing a review for any Salman Khan film then is just a formality, and those reading it are being kind to indulge the writer. I am happy to report, however, that Bajrangi Bhaijaan (lit.: Brother Bajrangi) is the most un-Salman movie to have come out in a long time,  or – to put in perspective – in the post-Wanted era.

In a scene post-intermission, when Nawaz’s character Chand asks Salman’s Prem Kumar Chaturvedi a. k. a. Bajrangi as to how he plans on finding the girl’s parents, he replies, “With the help of Bajrang Bali (a. k. a. Hanuman, the Monkey God)!”, to which Chand candidly enquires if Bajrang Bali would be able to help him in Pakistan too. Bajrangi goes silent, and despite being a devotee, for a moment, his belief is shaken and he wonders if Gods are limited by ethnicities and boundaries too, and – whether you like it or not – so will you. Which is the last Salman movie that made you stop and think, never mind if it was for a moment?

What’s it About?

A mute girl Shahida (Harshali Malhotra) from Pakistan gets left behind in India while visiting a shrine with her mother. She stumbles upon a good natured commoner who is lovingly called Bajrangi (Salman Khan) due to his devotion to Bajrang Bali, The Monkey God and who is trying very hard to make something of his life to win the approval of the girl’s father he is in love with. After much ado and due to lack of any other option thereof, Bajrangi decides to take matters into his hands and travel across the border, sans a Passport or Visa, to reunite the kid with her parents.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

'Sup monkey? You chillin' out there aight?

‘Sup monkey? You chillin’ out there aight?

Director Kabir Khan must have made a list of all the usual spectacles and essentials that a Salman starrer has, if only to be particular about not including them. The end result, therefore, is a coherent and effective narrative without the interruption of an (or any) item song, a pointless and shirtless Salman or any unnecessary elaborate flying action sequences, to name a few. To top it all, Salman isn’t even allowed to be the signature goof as has been the case in Kick, Ready, Bodyguard and countless other dubious successes featuring him prominently. It must have taken some effort from Kabir Khan to not include the pharmoola for potentially striking predictable gold at the box office. Having said that, the movie is not without its fair share of generic elements (there’s patriotism for an example) but they’re all done in good taste and executed without any fanfare or fervor. The story has a lot of scope for mindless distractions and over-indulgence and it is entirely to the credit of director Kabir Khan and his Writer K. V. Vijayendra Prasad (who is also the writer for Bahubali and its director S. S. Rajamouli’s father) that they avoid the usual and the predictable but continue to surprise you pleasantly whilst simultaneously keeping you entertained. Keeping in line with the mood of the film, the soundtrack is a delight by Pritam. There is the chart-busting Selfie Le Le Re (lit.: Take a Selfie, Y’All!), the soulful Tu Chahiye (lit.: I Want You) by Atif Aslam, the Adnan Sami re-sung qawwali Bhar Do Jholi Meri originally by the Sabri Brothers, and Neelesh Mishra’s beautifully written Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata (lit.: Speak Up, Life!). My personal favourite, above all, unabashedly ended up being the Mohit Chauhan crooned Chicken Kuk-Doo-Koo (I know, I know! But you gotta heart it to know it!).

While the first half of the film is fairly straight and thoroughly entertaining, the post-intermission proceedings take the logic a bit for granted, and the script has some plot-holes skulking around. I think in the larger scheme of things, however, you would be wiling to overlook them, mostly because of the good natured screenplay and also entirely because of the lack of any chest-thumping, which is usually the case in such situations in Hindi-language mainstream potboilers. I’m thanking my stars the movie didn’t take the Gadar route. A lot of my appreciation towards the movie is also due to the fact that while the movie displays the differences in people’s beliefs, ethnicities and practices it also, in its own subtle way, accentuates the tolerance that people have despite not being entirely accepting of the differences. The Brahmin household of a certain family is disapproving of their Muslim neighbor cooking meat but are still tolerant of it. On a similar note, while Bajrangi is hesitant to enter a mosque in Pakistan, the maulana there is more than welcoming and doesn’t shy away from helping him – or even greeting him with a Jai Shree Ram – when he senses Bajrangi’s discomfort at a Salaam.

To Perform or Not to Perform

How many movies have we done together again?

How many movies have we done together again?

Salman Khan (Phir Milenge; lit.: We’ll Meet Again) puts up a genuine and controlled performance and his good natured act is both convincing and endearing. Salman plays the director’s actor here and doesn’t step out to do ‘his thing’ as is the case in most of his other movies. Kareena Kapoor Khan (Chameli) looks like a million bucks and in her limited screen time displays quite a range and you can’t help but wish she did more movies. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (The Lunchbox) as the Pakistani journalist is effective, as an actor of his calibre is expected to be. He single handedly elevates many scenes post intermission and mostly during the climax. The supporting cast with Sharat Saxena (Hasee to Phasee; lit.: If She Smiles, She’s Done For), Rajesh Sharma (No One Killed Jessica) and others are well cast and help the proceedings. The real star of the show however, is the wonder kid Harshali Malhotra who looks even better than Kareena Kapoor Khan, acts better than Salman Khan and has more screen time and presence than both put together. Harshali is one of the strongest reasons why Bajrangi Bhaijaan works so well. She surprises you with her arresting screen presence and – in some scenes – with her acting chops. Together, the cast puts up a strong performance, but Harshali (at the risk of repeating myself) tops them all.

Worth it?

In one word, absolutely!

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is one Salman starrer that all will like, most will enjoy immensely and none will regret watching. This is the kind of film that you take your parents along to and plan to watch with a bunch of friends. This is the most Salman appears to be involved in a film since Dabangg, and also the most fun you are going to have while watching a Salman-starrer while keeping both your heart and brains intact. It is that kind of a movie where it doesn’t appear out of place or uncharacteristic when a Muslim says Jai Shree Ram or when a Hindu puts up his hand as a way of saying Salaam to bid adieu. Last week we had Bahubali, and this week Bajrangi Bhaijaan; what a month this is turning out to B!

About the Author

Sajan Gupta

Reluctant banker. Aspirational writer. Movie enthusiast. Voracious reader. Part-time ambitious; full-time dreamer. Runs the "Reel Life" page on Facebook.

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