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Rebel without a pause

Friday, April 06, 2018


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Baaghi 2 offers Tiger Shroff a canvas independent of his famous father, says Manisha Lakhe

Tiger Shroff is now four movies old, and it was probably tough for him to create his own limelight what with Daddy-o’s flute from Hero following him movie to movie. He tried the dancing and the singing and the fighting, and it did not work because he was trying too hard and he just didn’t look grown up enough. Thankfully Baaghi 2 offers him a canvas independent of his famous dad.

The movie is a copy paste of all the action movies of Hollywood especially First Blood which gave us Rambo. Tiger Shroff is Ranveer Pratap Singh, a para commando Captain in the Special Forces Unit who is posted in the snowy mountains somewhere in Kashmir. He’s shown to be tougher on terrorists if they insult the flag. So much filmy patriotism! You sigh in anticipation of more such scenes in the film (and the film does not disappoint!). But suddenly there is a phone call, and Ranveer is out to save a damsel in distress.

It’s Neha (the generic heroine: sassy but sweet, modern but oh-so Indian Disha Patani), Ranveer’s love, now married to someone her dad wanted her to marry asking Ranveer to help. Of course Ranveer gets leave from his ‘beating up terrorists’ work to land up in Goa, and we see a very long flashback.

College romance where he’s cool and plays basketball, and she’s cool and she’s a cheerleader and creative and has a dad she loves very much. Of course he does not like Ranveer and his cancer separates the two love birds. Now Neha’s daughter is missing. She is hit by mask-wearing duo who have kidnapped her four-year-old. Now no one believes her and everyone is saying, ‘She’s making it up because she’s got PTSD from the carjacking where they did not take the car!’ Before you express your disbelief, you are forced to suspend it because there’s Osman Car Garage guy (earnest Deepak Dobriyal) who speaks Hyderabadi (we’re in Goa!) and we come across Russian/Israeli mafia distributing drugs for a buffed up Prateik Babbar who gets sleazy lines like, ‘Bhaiyya ne tum par nazar rakhne ko kaha hai, and I like looking at you, bhabhi!’

There’s a poor man’s Jack Sparrow, beads, scarves, long rastafarian hair et al, a cop called LSD (Loha Singh Dhul) who hates uniform. It’s Randeep Hooda who earns his salary by having fun, ‘Pehle Udta Punjab zameen par laaya, ab doobte Goa ko bachane aaya hoon!’ Of course one of the baddies in the drug thing turns out to be a cop. While our rebel is fighting everything and everyone, the Rasta cop is busy chasing him. There is collateral damage on screen with bones broken and baddies beaten up, also with our ears ringing with the deafening mara-mari background sounds. How and why the rebel reaches a tropical forest teeming with Thai and Russian mercenaries defies all logic. This is when the action movies fan inside me begins to count scenes stolen from B-grade action flicks from Hollywood. At the end of 45 minutes of machine gun fire, hand to hand combat, there are bodies floating in the river, two helicopters blown to bits and arms arsenal destroyed (where are the drugs, I wonder!), and the baddie has been caught after a ghastly throw each other at walls fight.

The reason why the poor kid was kidnapped is so unbelievable, you know Baaghi 3 is going to be a copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando. You don’t hate the film, but it’s so bad, it’s good. Watch at your own peril.

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