An absolute paisa vasool

KATHMANDU: Guessing Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s plot is a child’s play. Then the unexpected hits — it is absolutely undabangg. Of course, melodrama has to accompany when there is the Indo-Pak touch, but it is entertaining. That’s all that matters when your wallet sheds some weight.

Kabir Khan doesn’t bring cross-border love story this time, it is about a Pakistani girl Shahida (Harshaali Malhotra), who is unable to speak, even at the age of six for some unknown reason, who is left behind in India. She is alone and vulnerable, but luck favours her and she chooses Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi aka Bajrangi (Salman Khan) as her saviour. It becomes his mission to unite Shahida, who he calls Munni, with her parents, though in the beginning he tries to get rid of her. He already has a lot on his plate.

This makes the film interesting, it doesn’t only epitomise the journey, but adds the issue of religion, caste, elements of India-Pakistan cricket fervour, a little bit of love story, laughter, and innocence leading to a sacred bond.

The first thing that makes you overlook the larger than life goodness is the innocence of Shahida. The casting director gets a thumps up for selecting Malhotra. She is a delight, your heart melts seeing her cry or laugh. She is like a pretty little doll who you want to protect. She will definitely get the attention, but Salman is ‘the’ man. His portrayal of an uncanny character, who is devoted to Bhajrangbali (Monkey god) and doesn’t/cannot lie, is his best work to date. His virtue is silly yet he is lovable, he is strong yet gullible, he is an extraordinarily ordinary man. Anyone will fall in love with this character like Rasika (Kareena Kapoor Khan) does in the film. It is a hero-centric film, so Kareena looks beautiful and does her part justice as an independent and open-minded person. With goodness oozing, someone has to help the reunion. In this case it is a struggling Pakistani journalist (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Siddiqui has always been a fabulous actor, he doesn’t disappoint this time either. The emotional quotient sometimes crosses the bar, but the tempo of the film makes it all plausible.

As far as humour is concerned, it is not slapstick for a change, it is in the moment and apt. Then again make sure to keep the tissue handy, the emotional scenes will get the better of you.

Music and songs won’t be the highlight as it is in Salman films, but it is fun filled. Though the action sequences are a few, without Khan going shirtless, it is dabang.

All in all, an absolute paisa vasool and whistling will echo full on.