Sunday, May 01, 2016


Brawn Over Brain

Sabbir Khan’s Baaghi is inspired by all those Hong Kong martial arts actioners in which the plot is just an excuse to hang all the hand-to hand action scenes.

Tiger Shroff fights better then he acts and is well suited for the part.  His ‘rebel’ (baaghi) nature is referred to just in a letter his off screen father writes to his friend, a Kalaripayattu guru in Kerala (Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj—inexplicably dressed in Chinese robes), telling him to discipline the brat. Ronnie is obviously more spoilt than rebellious. He resists the discipline that this martial art form demands, but is ultimately won over.
Meanwhile, he falls in love with aspiring actress Sia (Shraddha Kapoor—simpering away), the kind of idiot filmi type who starts dancing when it rains. The guru’s villainous son Raghav (Sudheer Babu) also falls for Sia. Her conman father (Sunil Grover) takes money from Raghav to get her married to him and contrives to separate her from Ronnie.

It’s not clear how a principled guru’s son becomes a gangster in Bangkok, but he doesn’t hesitate in killing his father. Like an eighties villain, Raghav kidnaps Sia and locks her up in his penthouse, but won’t touch her till they are married.

Ronnie, with the chiseled body that he can balance on two fingers upside down, goes to rescue her.  If anybody, except the film’s teenage male audience dreaming of six-pack abs, pays attention till the end, he is obviously pitted against the champion Raghav. 

The Kerala portions look good, that’s one positive about the film, which is otherwise crashingly dull.  It’s okay to have a thin plot, but how about some flair in the fight scenes, a little dash of humour? For emotion there’s a silly subplot with a mute kid who can only say “yaya”. For wit, there’s one line when Ronnie breaks the bones of a Chinese “killing machine” and quips, “Chinese maal zyada nahin chalta.”


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