Baaghi 2, directed by Ahmed Khan, sees Tiger Shroff play an army man, Ranveer Pratap Singh or Ronnie, contacted by his ex-girlfriend from college, Neha (Disha Patani), a good 4 years after they broke up. She wants him to help trace out her kidnapped daughter Rhea as months after the abduction, no one is helping her, not even her husband or the police. As Ranveer sets out finding out what happened to Rhea in the bylanes of Goa, the case gets murkier and murkier, and all is not what it seems. To make things worse, it appears that Rhea just might be a figment of Neha’s imagination…
To put it simply, the writing and the direction are woeful in Baaghi 2. The plot is a take off from the Telugu film Kshanam with a big difference that the hero was a civilian in the original film, while here he is a ‘patriotic’ army man in Kashmir, who uses a human shield atop a jeep ala Major Gogoi. Baaghi 2’s story, while sticking to the original’s plot points, is used as just an excuse to stage one action set-piece after another and while the execution of some of these impressively mounted action sequences is not bad per say, they belie any sort of credibility, especially the climactic fight as the hero bashes and kills not one, ten or even twenty, but hundreds of men single-handedly. Honestly, Rambo would be proud of watching Ronnie execute the desi version of First Blood!
The narrative flow, for what its worth, is stereotypical and lacks freshness. So we have the hero’s given an entry sequence through a fight, the standard college love story in the flashback with not one memorable moment, the romance thwarted due to the opposing father of the girl, who uses emotional blackmail of his terminal cancer to get her married to the man of his choice, an item number in a club etc etc etc. The storytelling and fleshing of characters is lazy, its basic lack of logic raising too many questions. For instance, Ronnie disobeys his commanding officer’s order to return back immediately and stays back to happily continue his search for Rhea for days in Goa without any problem whatsoever. Filmmakers have to realize that even if they stick to use of typical mainstream cinema devices, they must find newer and more believable ways of executing its tropes to make for better and more engaging films.
Sure, we know by now that Tiger Shroff has an amazing body, is extremely adept in action sequences and can also shake a leg or two extremely well if needed. On these fronts, he is fine enough and gives his fans their quota of whistle blowing to do. But emoting (and some basic acting) still seems beyond him. Yet, he still comes off better than Disha Patani who, while pretty, is embarrassingly bad as the damsel in distress. Thankfully for us though, her screen time is limited mainly up to the interval. Manoj Bajpayee and Deepak Dobriyal do try to bring some sort of sense and weight to the proceedings but are totally defeated by the script, while Prateik Babbar as an addict and Randeep Hooda as an unconventional cop are both over the top as they enter ham, bacon and sausage territory. Just about the only purpose that Jacqueline Fernandez’ ghastly item serves is to forcefully prove that Madhuri owns the Ek Do Teen number from Tezaab and how!
The technicalities too fail to lift the film. The songs are average at best and the loud, hammering background score is a big no-no. Just a couple of action sequences stand out in the film and that’s about it. Otherwise, the 144-minutes running time begins to tell, especially in the second half.
Hopefully, this film ends the Baaghi franchise here and now. If it succeeds (and it has opened phenomenally well), to go through it a third time would be just insufferable.
PS: A word here about the UA certificate given to the film. Looking at the graphic, bone crunching violence I don’t know which parent would be comfortable letting his child watch these sequences in the film even if he or she accompanies the child.
Hindi, Action, Drama, Color