Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 17th July, 2015
Time : 159 minutes
Director: Kabir Khan; Writer: Vijayendra Prasad; Music : Pritam (background by Julius Packham)
Starring : Salman Khan, Harshaali Malhotra, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sharat Saxena, Om Puri, Rajesh Sharma
If you’re prepared to go past an implausible premise, a lack of logic overall and see a tear-jerker kind of drama, laced with good intentions and a good heart (like our hero), but the same old (especially when it comes to the India – Pakistan theme) and strangely a Salman who behaves most unlike his normal screen avatar (throws four punches in the entire film, goes shirtless only once) and has the expression shown below for 80% of the film…. Then you are a better man than I am, Gunga Din…
Harshaali, a mute girl of 6, is lost in India, left behind by her sleeping mother. She somehow lands up with Salman Khan, just as an uncle in Pakistan consoles her sobbing mother with ‘Koi to nek banda milega use Hindustan mein’ (yes, it’s that cheesy a film). He looks after her, takes her to his future father in law’s place (Sharat Saxena) but then when they discover she is from Pakistan and on being given an ultimatum by his To-be-FIL, he vows to deliver her by himself to her home…
Kareena provides support in India and Nawazuddin does the same in Pakistan – both delivering strong performances – Kareena looking spunky, gorgeous (she’s always had this all knowing, superior kind of look, which suits her here) and Nawaz providing a touch of reality to Salman’s bravado – the response to any challenge is ‘Main Bajrang bali ka bhakt hoon’, which means he wont lie, sneak in, do anything bad or anything that is common-sensical and will bow in front of every simian creature he sees…
The film, more so in the second half, stretches, elongates and uses every trick in the book to try to wring a tear or two from your eyes. Especially with the tried and tested theme of how the people in India and Pakistan are but one, torn asunder by the armed forces and distrust.
Gorgeous visuals are Kabir Khan’s trademark and this movie doesn’t disappoint on that front. The songs are quite ordinary – maybe one which resonates (a bit because it plays in the background and doesn’t halt the story) and no, it isn’t the one with Adnan Sami (found that a bit pretentious). The best part of the film is the early bit in Pakistan when Nawaz is helping them on the run – the humour is subtle but comes through, especially the ‘aur thoda nazakat se’.
Wish the second half had more of that and an editor who could’ve comfortably reduced about half an hour of its current 159 minutes. It’s not a bad film, way better than say Bodyguard or Ready – but its just a little flat, maybe because the makers try so hard, with moist eyes and a jam-packed background score, to make us feel !