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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Baaghi 2: Is Tiger Shroff the action hero Bollywood was looking for?

Baaghi borrowed its premise from Raid: Redemption, but Tiger Shroff was responsible for making it desi. In the process established himself as an action hero of his generation.

bollywood Updated: Mar 29, 2018 17:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Baghi 2 is directed by Ahmed Khan.
Baghi 2 is directed by Ahmed Khan.

It wouldn’t be an outrageous claim if we say that Heropanti and Baaghi charmed the box office largely because of Tiger Shroff. He was indeed the backbone of these two films, his action scenes to be precise.

Baaghi borrowed its premise from Raid: Redemption, but Tiger Shroff was responsible for making it completely Indian. He did that, and in the process established himself as one of the better action heroes of his generation.

In fact, a closer look at Bollywood will showcase how he is emerging as the next action hero -- one film at a time. It’s a place vacant in the Hindi film industry since Akshay Kumar started preferring comedy over action. Occasional films like Khiladi 786 are there, but they also play on Akshay Kumar’s comic timing.

It’s a very different industry from the late ‘80s or ‘90s when action heroes were a separate entity. Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Ajay Devgn competed for that spot throughout the decade till they outgrew these characters.

Not only them, Sunny Deol reigned at the ticket window because of his action-oriented films. On the other hand, comedy was the forte of actors like Govinda.

In last couple of years or so, the definition of action heroes has totally changed. The genre is gradually returning to its pure form, which means actors are expected to be good at stunts. The more high-octane it is, the more thrilling it could be.

Bollywood actors are expected to do what Vin Diesel did with the Fast And The Furious series. Every time, he upped the game with more extreme action.

Vidyut Jammwal, and probably Tiger’s only capable competition in his age group, shocked the audience with his understanding of Kalaripayattu in Commando. The old-fashioned film gave the audience what they were looking for: an unabashed display of high-octane action scenes.

Baaghi took the baton from there and punched its way through our hearts. The hero was doing unbelievable action, but he was so good that we were willing to overlook the improbability of these scenes. You know, something like Die Hard or Taken. If Bruce Willis or Liam Neeson are out there, we need to back them up.

That way, Baaghi 2 is an opportunity for Tiger Shroff to rise above the competition and present himself as the ultimate action hero that Bollywood has been missing since Akshay Kumar moved to comedy.

Will he be able to do it?

Baaghi 2 hits the screens on March 30, 2018.

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 17:16 IST

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