The only thing Baaghi is rebelling against is reason, logic and common sense!
Excuse me? Are we back in the 90s now? Because I clearly missed the memo, notifying us mere mortals of this monumental time travelling feat. So thank god for the team behind Baaghi, since had it not been for them, I still would have been ignorant to this glorious accomplishment of temporal displacement that even Marty McFly and Doc Brown would be proud of.
I’m sure that back in the day, ‘koi achi si fighing wali filum de dayn (give me a nice film with a lot of fighting scenes)’ would have been a pretty popular line to be heard in video stores all across the country. Only second to ‘woh wali movie chaiyay (give me ‘that’ movie)’, if you ask me.
I, personally have been on countless of these film rental trips with my cousins or friends where, along with occasional requests for behind-the-shelf ‘woh’ variety, we ended up asking the ‘video walay uncle’, if he had a ‘naye karate, kung-fu filum (new karate, kung-fu film)’.
Keeping in mind humankind’s proclivity for violence, it was no surprise that back in that decade even C-grade foreign action heroes like Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme were household names in our part of the third-world.
But that was regressive 90s at its best and unfortunately for Baaghi with its archaic sensibilities, we are currently living the relatively enlightened twenty-tens.
A rehash of a Telugu film called Varsham (2004) and an Indonesian thriller, The Raid: Redemption (2011), Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor starrer is a jaded love story muddled with martial arts mayhem.
Ronny (Tiger Shroff) a rebel (just don’t ask why!), visits South India to undergo formal training in Kalaripayattu (a Keralese martial arts style) in order to fulfil his father’s dying wish. En route he meets the irritably chirpy Sia (Shraddha Kapoor) who seems to be smoking some really s***-a** stuff that makes her character go bonkers; talking to the clouds, and dancing at the first sign of rain. Boy meets girl, exchange a few words and are in love – if only finding true love was that frikkin’ simple!
But like every typical Bollywood love story, there must be a major obstacle on their way to the ‘happily ever after’. So after a period of Ronny’s Karate Kid inspired training at the Kalari academy, as if on cue, enters Raghav (Sudheer Babu), an equally formidable fighter and the villainous son of the protagonist’s guru, who also falls for Sia.
Raghav abducts Sia and takes her to Bangkok, where he is a mafia kingpin. Ronnie sets off on their trail and singlehandedly takes on an army of henchmen employed by the antagonist.
Ronnie manages to liberate our ‘damsel in distress’ a couple of times, but in both instances they are instantly caught again because instead of escaping, they break into a song to celebrate their reunion.
After a certain point, Sia’s rescue gets so insufferable that you hope the lead pair actually succumbs to all the havoc and we can all go home. But sadly they don’t!
Credit where credit is due, the fight sequences are extremely well-choreographed, but there is only so much meaningless bone-crunching that one can endure before it gets excruciatingly monotonous.
Bottom line, the movie has no story to tell, only action to showcase. With a plot as wafer-thin as this, I’d rather watch WWE with all its faux drama, if I am looking for senseless action.
Low on genuine drama, Baaghi is only as engaging as a shoddily designed video game.
The songs are great, but only for your mid-film loo breaks.
Cringe-worthy comedy is inserted via Sunil Grover and Sanjay Mishra’s characters. And if a blind man mistakenly feeling up a woman’s legs is your idea of comic relief, then the director has got what he wants. Regrettably, I am a philistine and don’t really share the filmmaker’s fabulous sense of humour.
An absurd masala potboiler, the only thing Baaghi is rebelling against is reason, logic and common sense.
If you ask me, I’d say go watch a ‘woh waale filum’ rather than wasting your time with this sequence of disjointed stylised action scenes.
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