He can balance his entire body on two fingers. He can do flying kicks even in his sleep. He can dance like he’s auditioning for ABCD-3 (Hopefully not). But this Pappu can’t act saala. If you can ‘forgive’ this single lacuna, you’re in for some good time watching Tiger Shroff starrer Baaghi, directed by Sabbir Khan.
The film showcases every imaginable action that Tiger Shroff can pull off with Bruce Lee’s ease, be it martial arts, free-falling-in-slow-motion (Last seen in SRK’s Fan), or the mandatory chase sequences. ‘Inspired’ by an Indonesian film ‘The Raid: Redemption’ and a Telugu film, ‘Varsham’, Baaghi borrows too much from other sources – Ramayan, Jackie Chan films, and almost every eighties and nineties potboilers we’ve grown up watching.
The first half is replete with well-timed rains, similar-sounding songs set against picturesque landscapes of Kerala beautifully captured by Binod Pradhan, the lead actor struggling to get his expressions right while the cinematographer ensures he gets the ‘Jackie Shroff’ wala angle in him, but ends up with a Danny Denzongpa instead. Sigh.
Sunil Grover seems to have accidentally bumped into this film’s sets instead of shooting for his comedy show with certain Sharma. Ditto for Sanjay Mishra who might have mistaken the film’s sets for a Rohit Shetty film location. Happens…Forgiven.
Shraddha Kapoor is consistently irritating as damsel-in-distress. The antagonist, Sudhir Babu seems promising in this debut and we wish he doesn’t end up being typecast as Prakash Raj. On second thoughts, one realises that the film’s writer Sanjeev Dutta is the actual antagonist of this film. There are more than one reason why.
Our hero decides to ‘rescue’ the heroine only for money, which he needs to operate a ‘Ya Ya’ chanting kid (Remember the Govinda-starrer Hatya?), but the writer feels no obligation to explain what happens to the kid in the end. He’s as conveniently forgotten, as the writer forgets to write the story.
By the end of the film, you’re glad that you survived those bland dialogues sprinkled with umpteen ‘Tu ek din bahut aage jaayega’ lines repeated by Shraddha Kapoor, those yawn-inducing love scenes, a martial arts teacher (Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj) donning Ranveer Singh beard, who seems to be mimicking Puneet Issar and mouthing lazily-written lines.
The action and dance sequences keep going on and on aimlessly with no story in farthest sight, rendering Baaghi as a rebel without pause. The only saving grace here is Tiger Shroff. The actor is all set to take the Indian film industry by storm (A few acting lessons won’t hurt). After Heropanti, this film is Tiger Shroff’s second show-reel, and one just can’t wait to watch his ‘first film’.