Cast: Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Sudheer Babu
Director: Sabbir Khan
Take a dramatic Bollywood love story and crash land it into an adrenaline-pumping fight movie, and you have Tiger Shroff’s second film, Baaghi. Unlike Heropanti (his first film), this one is all about being fast and furious: the scene shifts at a frenetic pace from emotional scenes to gravity-defying fight moves. Somewhere in between, you have Shraddha Kapoor’s rain dance and melodrama.
So what is it about? We have a dying father and his last wish (Bollywood’s favourite plot point): To see Rony (Tiger), his 23-year-old wild-child, tamed at a Kalaripayuttu training camp in Kerala. Trouble is, Rony ends up being wilder. He falls in love with Sia (Shraddha). Raghav (Sudheer Babu), a Bangkok-based gangster, kidnaps Sia, and there is blood everywhere.
Rony, Sia, Raghav, and Raghav’s mansion full of his henchmen: This is the director’s justification for referring to Ramayana.
After Heropanti, could Baaghi establish Tiger as the new king of action in Bollywood?
Baaghi is a mix of Rumble in the Bronx and the Protector, but with lopsided sensibilities: the fights here happen in claustrophobic spaces, but there is no rationale behind it. There is no thoughtful action choreography, and thus everything comes down to Tiger’s flexibility to take the film forward. And then, he’s also expected to play a typical Bollywood lover. Needless to say, it’s all messed up.
Instead of a well-etched, strong yet compassionate character, Shroff comes off as someone with a split personality. You see him fighting in mid-air in one scene, and dancing in the very next. There is no point in expecting a logical screenplay here.
Screenplay is Baaghi’s weak point.
The director also wastes a lot of time preparing the viewers for the final bloodbath. Only if he had prolonged the action scenes, Baaghi could have been more engaging. This is where Vidyut Jammwal’s Commando (2013) excelled.
Sabbir Khan had earlier directed Heropanti.
Its fight sequences aside, the only other thing worth watching in Baaghi are the exotic locales: From the backwaters in Kerala to the breathtaking beaches of Thailand’s Krabi. Sadly, you must still deal with gore, blood and mindless killings in this 133-minute film.
In short, The Karate Kid enters Bloodsport and appears in a hurry to become Ong-Bak without losing the essential Bollywood qualities. Baaghi shines only in patches.
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