Thursday, September 1, 2011

REVIEW 72: BODYGUARD

Release date:
August 31, 2011
Director:
Siddique
Cast:
Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rajat Rawail, a teeny appearance by Vidya Sinha (yes Vidya of Chhoti si Baat and Rajnigandha fame)

Okay, so Salman Khan is cute. We get it!!! He was cute in Partner. He was cute in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya. He was incredibly cute in Wanted and Dabangg. He was cute even in Ready with its unabashed reliance on his cuteness and fan following to carry it through. He is cute once again in Bodyguard, but even a cute megastar needs a real movie wrapped around him. And by that I mean an M-O-V-I-E, not a mere stringing together of scenes that are so dependent on the leading man’s ability to drive his followers crazy, that the team has not made much of an effort to tighten the editing, sharpen the dialogue writing or rev up the wit.

Here are a few things that work in favour of Bodyguard:
1.      Salman is cute
2.      Salman gives us generous displays of his well-sculpted torso
3.      Kareena is pretty
4.      Kareena’s wardrobe is pretty too

But points 1-4 apply to pretty much every movie that these two stars have worked in. So iske aage kuchh kijiye please.

Bodyguard is the Hindi remake of the hit 2010 Malayalam film of the same name starring Dileep and Nayantara. Its Tamil version Kaavalan with Vijay and Asin was released earlier this year to an enthusiastic response. Siddique has directed all three films. The story here remains the same as the original. Lovely Singh (Salman) is hired as the private security guard of Divya (Kareena), the daughter of a rich man. Irritated by Lovely’s over-zealous devotion to duty, Divya tries to distract him by calling him from her cellphone pretending to be an admirer. Since her number shows up as a “private number” on Lovely’s phone, he doesn’t realise that the girl claiming to be Chhaya at the other end of the line is in fact his Divya Madam. Gradually, Lovely starts developing feelings for the faceless Chhaya, and before she knows it, Divya too falls in love with him. But can their love withstand her father’s opposition? And when Lovely realises that Chhaya is Divya, will he agree to continue the relationship or bow to her family’s wishes?

That’s the kernel of the story. If you’ve seen the film’s southern Indian forebears, you’ll know how the rest plays out. The plus point of Bodyguard is that Salman gets more likeable with each film, though of course what he’s doing is not acting – it’s called Being Salman Khan. No complaints with that, so long as the star and the story are put together well enough to deliver an entertaining package. Sadly, though Bodyguard starts off well enough with generous doses of humour and Salmanness, it starts dragging post interval and fizzles out completely in the end.

Unlike the heroines of many of Salman’s recent films, in Bodyguard Kareena is not treated merely as a glamorous appendage to the hero’s antics. She has a substantial part to play in the film. But neither Salman’s charisma, nor Kareena’s acting and eye-catching kurtas can compensate for Bodyguard’s overall dullness. The music too is not particularly memorable, despite the sweet-but-that’s-about-it title track composed by Himesh Reshammiya and Pritam’s I love you which is well sung and melodic though generic. And Katrina Kaif’s minuscule appearance in one number doesn’t serve any purpose.

Salman’s directors in recent years have made every effort to build him up as a sort of Rajinikanth of the North. Well, the Rajini package is what it is because of wacky dialogue writing and brilliantly executed, imaginatively conceived action sequences. Bodyguard doesn’t offer us much beyond a character telling Lovely Singh, “Tum bodyguard nahin, Itchguard ho” with no contextual relevance whatsoever. And Lovely’s mantra in the film, “Mujhpar ek ehsaan karna ki mujh par kabhi ehsaan na karna”, is hardly hard-hitting or clever enough to merit the repeat play it gets in the film. The stunts in Bodyguard are not particularly novel either. In fact, the film’s action choreographer even borrows from Dabangg’s climax in which the wind ripped the shirt off the tall, strapping villain (Sonu Sood) and then tore the shirt off Chulbul Pandey (Salman) to drive home the point that the comparatively gigantic bad guy was no match for our heroic little package of dynamite. Witness the final fight in Bodyguard with a similar sequence of events but half the impact. What Salman needs are more ingenious fight directors and writers who could give him more Salman-esque lines such as Wanted’s “Ek baar jo maine commitment ki, toh main khud ki bhi nahin sunta”. Without any of these ingredients, Bodyguard ends up as a sort-of-entertaining film with an enjoyable-even-if-mindless first half, good-looking lead players and several clich├ęs; a film that appears to take committed fans terribly for granted.

My favourite moment in Bodyguard is when a member of Divya’s household (Rajat Rawail in an interesting debut) reads “private number” as “Parvati Nambiar”. Now why couldn’t we have had more of that in the film?

Rating (out of five): **

CBFC Rating:                       U/A without cuts
Running time:                        131 Minutes
Language:                              Hindi

PS: Does the “masala” tag give writers and directors the right to be irresponsible and insensitive? So okay, some jokes about disabilities (however offensive) have to be accepted in the interests of realism, because they reflect the street language of our country. But while the world debates the correctness and acceptability of terms such as midget / dwarf / vertically challenged person / person of slight stature / little people, here in India, in a scene in Bodyguard Lovely Singh blithely refers to Divya’s small-sized classmate as a “handbag” to be contrasted with a “suitcase”! Oh wait, I’m not allowed to have such objections to a “masala” film, right Bollywood?!

Photograph courtesy: http://www.bodyguardthefilm.com/

13 comments:

  1. C'mon Anna the film is not so bad..Though you r right..the film could definitely have done with some taut editing...All and all it was worth Rs 100 that I paid to watch this film...

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  2. You are bang on Anna...the film is a slap on this Salman's fan who traveled almost 120 miles to and fro to catch this film first day.

    Salman did what he could,no complaints,bt the producers need to find him atleast a script and some smart dialog writer. Heartbroken

    P.S. the 'Teri Meri Prem...' is a trauma I wdnt be able to forget for days. What ws that video all about, pray someone explain

    Jattin

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  3. As promised.. my take on Bodyguard:

    Lets Start with Start – Promos, which romised of some thing nice, funny, fresh movie.. seemed humorous, Nice music and Salman and Kareena!!!

    Then the Movie poster -

    Can someone please tell me where is the creativity?? If I am not wrong, Rahul nanda is the publicity designer? Where are the designs???

    Now coming to movie:

    The movie starts with the same ‘no creativity’ credits. And then Salman’s entry! wait wait.. is that Salman or RajniKanth!! Salman Khan jumping from one train to another train! And then he’s flying from here and there defying the Gravity to save some girls!

    Uncle Parker (in spiderman) said – With great powers comes great responsibility. But it other way round with Bodygaurd : With Great responsibility comes great power!!!!

    Ok, now cut to we have the same Bodyguard…oh by the way our bodyguard has a lovely name – LOVELY SINGH, is in front or Sartaj Singh (Raj Babbar). He is appointed Kareena’s Bodyguard.

    now Kareena is irritated by Lovely Singh’s Uniform, so she calls him as another girl in love with him. and then theres no story….

    Some points which take the movie to next level of bakwaas..:

    Mahesh Manjrekar is villain who got only 3-4 dialogues.
    Aditya Pancholi is villain who is after Kareena to kill her. No one knows the reason.
    A character called Tsunami tries to act funny by cracking jokes on Bum. Wearing girls clothes…
    Salman khan’s ringtone..
    Salman flies and fights ( I am sure even he doesnt know why is he flying)
    The villain is dead half an hour before the movie ends
    And yes.. theres suspense too.. Salman has a son and he’s not Kareena’s!!

    Dialogues – Salman has started a trend of having a hard hitting dialogue in all his movies,Maine ek baar commitment kar di toh main apne aap ki bhi nahi sun ta (wanted), Hum yahan ke robin hood hain (dabangg) and then body gaurd – Mujhpe ek ehsaan karna, ki mujhpe koi ehsaan na karna….

    Except this dialogue all other dialogues are pathetically stupid. e.g Salman bumps in to a tree and says – Jhaad ne mujhe jhaad diya….

    The saving grace of the movie was Music. One song Teri meri prem kahanni.. was a real good song with nice picturisation.. but again there was a mistake… Only Kareena is confused about her love story not Salman.. then why do they both sing – Prem kahani mushkil hai……?

    And then after a draggy emotional scene (??) the film ends…

    The movie has crossed earning of 110 crores!! thats purely because of Saman Khan!! His fans can do anything to Watch Salman khan… Even watch Bodyguard!!!!

    Overheard a A lady leaving theatre – Pata nahi kyun ye movie dekhne aaye.. lagta hai paise jyada ho gaye the…….

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  4. Well written Umennet. & the best friend's role in the film. What a turnaround it was! I wonder if instead of her, Kareena had sent out the maid, to convey the message....

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  5. I so agree with both Anna and Umennet! Hadn't seen wanted, dabbang or ready so went for this... now I know why i missed the others!!!

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  6. Dear Umennet:
    Read your review.. i think you have covered most of the points one can cover and were spot on ,but for the few points i have mentioned below.

    1.Mahesh Manjrekar is the Villian with 3 dialogues : so what big deal..no one went there to watch him.
    2.Aditya Pancholi : He was after kareena bcoz his brother was killed in the disco fight by salman when he went to kill her.. (Ya you missed it the theatre bcoz u were busy tweeting about how bakwaas bodyguard is).
    3.Ringtone : There are ringtone used by people which are worse than that so what..
    4. Villian is dead half an hour before the movie ends..so where does it is written that villian should die in the final minutes.
    5. After a dragging emotional scene the film ends : I dont understand , if it was not long you will say it ended abruptly and if its long its dragging..
    6.About the poster : Come on yaar this is a movie poster not a design competition. what were you expecting.
    7.The movie crossing 100 crores becoz of salman :Salmans movie crossing 100 crores just bcoz of salman ..hmmm good observation..everyone else missed that point..
    8.Overheard a lady saying pata nahin ye movie kyun dekhne aaye : I hope that lady was not anna..
    These were some of the points in your review i dont agree with..rest of them are fine..
    regards
    Salam

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  7. only thing which i want 2 say is when u didn't like wanted and dabangg then who told u 2 go and watch bodyguard bcoz it seems that u dont like salman,and i want 2 know that what do u think about srk's senseless rnbdj,oso and mnik with only 2 dialogues mandira please marry me,please dont die.varun rajput

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  8. I think uminet's review is just his frustation that the movie is doing so good. If you can accept rajnikant going overboard,like jumping on trains etc, why not salman. at least with his kind of body he still makes it look realistic.
    As for the songs they were beautifully picturised.(Tere mere was a dream sequence).No wonder you did not understand the movie. Such people go only to find flaws.Perhaps they hero worship some other film star. So they cant help but feel frustated.
    Trust me i do not say the movie is a classic etc but in no way it is the way you have described. Salman in his own words has said that public prefers to see him doing action etc. so who should he satisfy. A few critics who may give him 4 or 5 stars or millions & millions of people who love him in such roles. He has done roles such as "Garv" "Tere Naam" etc where he was exceptionally too good. But did these films see box office success. Then too he was ridiculed that his films are failure.
    So sir at least "GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE"

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  9. movie is vry good

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  10. well said umennet .. thats how the movie should be broken down :-0 09mitali/twitter

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  11. outstanding..........after coming 4rb d theatre one man said ''agli baar pure parivaar k saath aaunga...."""salman roxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  12. @Salah4u

    Answers for your points:
    1. Mahesh Manjarkar Was a part of film, should have been given some importance.
    2. Salman killed the goons, raj babbar sent im, and Aditya pancholi wants to kill Kareena???
    3. Ringtone : No Comments!! ;-P
    4. Villain being dead before half an hour of movie ending - After that MOVIE WAS DRAAAGGGGYYYYY - Accept the fact!!! :)
    6. Come on yaar this is a movie poster not a design competition. - OOPS!!! I thought Movie making is about creativity!! Am I Wrong??

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  13. Bodyguard is popular movie.the action of bodyguard movie is real act.

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