We just have to accept that this is Bhaijan’s time, then. It doesn’t matter if I think that Bodyguard is simply the worst kind of production pretending to be a feature film. It’s on its way to yet another record opening for Salman Khan, surpassing last year’s Eid bonanza, Dabangg. Obviously, the audience has spoken.
Yet, there are a few questions that must be raised, if we look into the crystal ball and hazard a guess on how big this one could end up being. If I compare this to just Salman’s last few capers – Wanted, Ready and Dabangg – since that’s the benchmark for his films now, this is still a mediocre film, far worst than any of the others. There are some elements that drove the people to the box office, irrespective of the film’s cinematic merits, and possibly most of them are missing in Bodyguard.
At least, they had Salman playing to the galleries, a larger than life macho man, just how the audience loves him. I mean, Chulbul Pandey was irresistible, no matter who was reviewing the film. Here, he’s Being Humanoid. A servile hero who talks and walks like a robot. Without his insouciant and bratty charm on show, half the battle is already lost. The director does him great disservice by writing a role that has none of his strengths on show. Except those abs, but they come too little too late. The fight scenes – fast replacing plot points as set pieces around which a Salman film can be strung together – try hard, and may be the only relief his fans gain in this film. But they ape what he’s already done earlier – we’ve seen much better and much cooler from him.
Then there’s the dialogue! Bombastic, often irrelevant, maybe even cliched, but lines that are written purely for impact, and he sure as hell pulled them off. Again, the makers falter here. His “Mujhpar ek ehsaan karna. Ki mujhpar koi ehsaan na karna” doesn’t pack as much of a punch, and there is precious little for the crowds to whistle at. Sallu film writers please note: a ring tone is NOT a replacement for words.
The music, such an important ingredient for marketing the film: a big letdown. There’s not one catchy number, the item song is over before the film begins, and there is not even the brainlessness of Dhinka chica to gloss over with the “oh it’s so bad it’s good.”
Finally, the last 20 minutes. In true WTF style, you are mesmerized at what unfolds after Salman’s ripped his shirt (with a hose of water no less), fought his foes without seeing (what could have gone in his eyes that couldn’t come out fighting in a puddle of water?), and emerged triumphant staking the villain at the end. I mean, stick to the script guys, that’s where a Salman film ends. But no! NOW the writers choose to spin a story, clearly not having the chance to do it for the first 2 hours of the film. In a bizarre (and this is a kindly adjective, believe me) flash forward sequence, the entire story of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is crammed in 20 minutes. SRK, whatever you did, I can do faster. It’s unfathomable, and though they will never admit it, I am certain even his die-hard fans will squirm in their seats.
This comparison is simply thinking out aloud to the question that will even Salman’s hysterical mass appeal be enough to match the unbelievable hype preceding this release, and will this translate to BO records? Other than his absolute hard core fans, will others who wouldn’t mind a repeat viewing of Dabangg, pay to watch this film again? With all odds in his favor, I still wouldn’t bet on it.
Hindi, Action, Drama