Underused Indian goddess: Critics hate Baywatch but love Priyanka Chopra | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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Underused Indian goddess: Critics hate Baywatch but love Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra is getting a lot of love from international critics for her Hollywood debut film Baywatch. Read what they have to say.

hollywood Updated: May 25, 2017 12:51 IST
HT Correspondent
Almost every reviewer was impressed by Priyanka’s charming presence.
Almost every reviewer was impressed by Priyanka’s charming presence.

Critics may have mercilessly panned her big Hollywood debut, Baywatch, but are all praises for Priyanka Chopra. Many publications are in agreement that Priyanka was underused in the film, but commanded attention in the few scenes she was in.

The rating for the film on Rotten Tomatoes has risen 5% since Wednesday but is still at the very low 19%. Critics have thrashed the film for its immature content and bad performances and said that even a star as big as Dwayne Johnson could not save it.

However, almost every reviewer was impressed by Priyanka.

Matt Goldberg of Collider heaped praises for the actor. “The real standout is Chopra. I’ve never seen her TV series Quantico, but she owns the film every second she’s on screen. Victoria isn’t a particularly memorable villain on the page, but Chopra is commanding, and when she gets called an aspiring Bond villain, it made me want her to be the villain in the next Bond movie. If there’s one good thing that can come from the wreckage of this movie, it’s for Chopra’s career in Hollywood films to take off,” he wrote.

Independent’s Jack Shepherd gave the movie two stars but said that she was underused. “Despite being incredibly talented, Chopra is clinically underused, the script offering her nothing to work with,” he wrote.

IGN’s Gav Murphy wrote, “The only other highlight is Priyanka Chopra as nefarious entrepreneur Victoria Leeds, who outshines pretty much anyone she’s in a scene with. Chopra’s engaging and interesting and is the only character that speaks with any kind of distinctive cadence, with the rest of the cast falling into the exact same pattern of delivery of their hackneyed gags. None of them are given much of anything to do, either.”

Forbes’ Scott Mendelson also complained how the actor was kept on the sidelines. “Chopra has fun as the baddie, but she stays in the background until the end of the movie and really only gets one big scene at the end of the picture. The showdown is the best moment in the film, one which cleverly plays on gender-specific action movie tropes while showing its female villain no gender-based charity. I wish more movies had female super villains and to its credit, Baywatch doesn’t treat it as a big deal,” he wrote.

Birth.Movies.Death’s Jacob Knight wrote, “The Indian goddess brings a (sadly underutilized) brainy charisma to every scene that feels fit for a better picture”.

Radio Times’ Robert Luxford praised Priyanka some more. “Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra judges the mood perfectly, playing the villain with exactly the right amount of dramatic flair (“I’m not a Bond villain… yet” she teases during an interrogation),” he wrote.

However, The Guardian’s Steve Rose thought she was used only to show off her skin. “Even Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, the underused villain of the piece, looks like she was contractually obliged to show as much flesh as permissible”.

Baywatch releases in India on June 2. The film is directed by Seth Gordon and also stars Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera and Jon Bass, with cameos by original TV show actors Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff.

Stay tuned for Hindustan Times’ review of the film.

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