Baaghi 3 movie review: The main act has Tiger Shroff show us just how he’s conquered the action space.
The only reason for Baaghi 3 to exist is this: to showcase the amazingly ripped bod of Tiger Shroff, who is poetry when in motion, and faltering verse when there’s emotion.
You’d think that combo would be just fine for a film which takes its kuchh bhi attitude ’ when it comes to plot points, with as much seriousness as it does its relentless focus on our lithe hero who flows over multiple baddies in multiple locations, straddling planes and automobiles and, yes, tanks, to stand before us, bloodied but unbowed.
The last time Tiger got into an actioner, he had to play second fiddle with the very sexy, equally fit Hrithik Roshan. This time around, no such risks are taken. Riteish Deshmukh, who plays Tiger’s bada bhai, is made to be a scared pussy cat, the nice guy who can’t deal with violence, the one who cries in movies.
No such problems with Tiger aka Ronny. He keeps all evil away from his older brother, at any cost, whether it is bullies in movie halls or terrorists in Syria. Just so we have no doubt either of intention or execution, a certain Abu Jamal, the sargana of a Tashkar outfit, is made to quaver after his wicked plans of blowing up humans appear to go astray: is it America, or Roosia, or the Mossad?
No, silly. It is Ronny, the one man army, who has dropped by Syria in order to rescue his brother and other unfortunates from a messy end. Yeah, yeah, we told you that logic is not the strongest suit of this flick; no one strains themselves trying to make us understand how easily a bunch of Indians seem to slide into one of the most dangerous places on earth right now, in order to create more mayhem, as if more were required.
While you are wrestling with this, and watching all the grappling on screen , we have to tell you that this bhai-mance does make space, almost as an afterthought, for women. They are as stock as the rest of the characters: a ditzy girl-friend who suddenly turns into a tanned action heroine (Kapoor), a dutiful wife who gets duly pregnant (Lokhande) and some more on the periphery.
Talking of stock, the Syrians say yalla yalla. Making up for their vocabulary is colourful desi villain (Ahlawat) who spouts rhymes, and a helpful fellow (Varma) who speaks in a Hyderabadi accent, and who just materialises out of thin air to help. These are two good actors whose chief job is to show up the strictly limited range of the Shroff-Kapoor combine: when they are not chasing bad guys, they are dancing to tuneless songs.
But these are fringe benefits. The main act has Shroff show us just how he’s conquered the action space. And two tiny, almost throwaway things, which you cling on to in this much too stretched saga, despite all the hustle-bustle: when a cop (yes, Jackie’s here too, as a brave, sacrificial daddy-o) says that rioters have no dharm aur mazhab, which gives off a sharp resonance. And when sonny boy strikes another for Hindu-Muslim amity, and rescues not just Hindustanis but also Pakistanis from the Jehadis, who are the enemies-of-us-all.
These bits are not as gung-ho as they would have been in the masala era of the 70s and 80s, but I will take this pallid stab — any thing to hold on to in these dark days — and wave back at our baaghi while doing so.