Bajrangi Bhaijaan, directed by Kabir Khan, gives us a heartwarming story, that of a girl from a Pakistani village lost in India, who needs to go back home. Watch Aniruddha Guha’s Dedh Minute Review.
The film has only few of the regular Salman tropes – only two pointless songs, only one action scene, and the actor isn’t presented like a larger-than-life superhero.
Instead, he plays a common man, Bajrangi, who takes it upon himself to get the girl back home. You wish the customary romantic track with Kareena Kapoor had been done away with too, because it only slows the film down.
In the second half, Kapoor is replaced with Nawazuddin, a Pakistani journalist Chand Nawab, who helps Bajrangi and the girl. That’s where the film comes alive. Nawaz gets plenty screen time, and brings the house down with his comic timing. His character is based on the real-life Chand Nawab, whose news clip went viral on YouTube, and Nawaz recreates that scene superbly.
The little girl, Harshali Malhotra, is ideal casting – so cute and endearing, she can melt your heart with a smile. She’s also the ideal foil to Salman’s persona, and you feel invested in their journey together. Salman’s simpleton-with-the-big-heart role reminds you of Sunny Deol in Ghatak, and he performs the role with uncharacteristic earnestness.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan is still in parts and manipulative as hell, but works. My rating is a 3. Give me Bhaijaan over Bhai any day.