The premise of Sabbir Khan’s Baaghi: A Rebel For Love had promise for an interesting commercial film. However, its making and execution seems to suggest that it was made with the sole purpose of packaging and shoving Tiger Shroff down our throats, story be damned.
So Ronnie (Tiger Shroff) is a rebel without a cause, which we don’t get to know because the makers probably took the ‘without a cause’ bit too literally. He is then sent to stay at an in-house Kalaripayattu school in Kerala to get disciplined in life. On his way there by train, he meets Sia (Shraddha Kapoor), an aspiring film actor traveling to her maternal home along with her parents. Raghav (Sudheer Babu), the son of his master and a hardened criminal based in Bangkok, also falls for Sia thus forming the central conflict of the film with added bits of misunderstandings between the lovers thrown in. The whole of the second half is then spent in Ronnie trying to rescue Sia from Raghav’s clutches. This is done through a series of some admittedly well-choreographed actions scenes that are strung together with some silly comedy thrown in by Sanjay Mishra (the guy is funny for sure) till the film ends and we finally heave a sigh of relief.
The writer, director and the producer need to understand that a script needs proper scenes and well-defiend characters connected by proper transitions to tell a story. Montage, action, songs and some inspiration from the Telugu film Varsham (2004) put together cannot pull off a 2-hour plus film.
Tiger Shroff shows no acting ability, none whatsoever, but he has it in him to become a great action hero if utilized correctly and he seems to be in his element in the fight scenes. His chiseled physique – one that is real and doesn’t rely on VFX – had the young girls in the audience in raptures! Shraddha Kapoor looks fresh and chirpy but that’s about it. Of the rest of the cast, Sunil Grover, playing her father, can go a long way if he comes out of his comfort zone of monotonous comedy, having shades of the great character actor of yesteryear, Kanhaiyalal, in him.
Finally however, Baaghi: A Rebel for Love ends up as yet another example of how bad our mainstream films can be when the focus on everything else but content. What could have been a superb revival of the sentiment of classic ‘70s cinema, ends up as yet another forgettable film that cannot boast of even a single memorable moment. At the same time, one does wonder about how easy our audiences are to please as the film is well on its way to becoming a smash hit at the box office. What is sad is that its success will inevitably lead to more mediocre fare at the cinemas, And that is not something to look forward to.
Hindi, Action, Drama, Color