Recalling: Bodyguard (2011)
I started this series as a treatise on old Hindi cinema that is relatively unknown and seldom talked about in my friend circle. Here I am, back after watching a movie that the country is talking about (as I type this the movie is breaking all opening records left right and centre for a Hindi film from North to South to East to West), but I am still tempted to do a write-up on it.
Due to this vocation that I have picked up in the past 2-3 months, many people have started viewing me as a film reviewer. I certainly don’t think that I am there yet (I certainly don’t want to go there). I try to write what I feel about a movie, as a part of the audience, as a viewer and not as a student of film-making or an expert on making the right film. To me a film is just a medium of conversation, a story on celluloid that talks directly to the audience, and involves them like nothing else. It has the power to change your mood within seconds- and that’s the most wonderful thing about movies according to me…
Well Bodyguard is a movie helmed by a man who has learnt to get audience’s pulse right more often or not. I am talking about Salman Khan here (and not the film’s director Siddique-though it may be true for him too). He backs a simple tale, wraps it around with all the luster and gloss that works for him, and still manages to deliver an engaging and beautiful love story, the best one I have seen in a while.
It starts of predictably; both the movie and the theatre experience (Chandan Cinema Juhu, a thousand and something strong mass crowd waiting for their hero to begin his show- incidentally Rajat Rawail, who plays an important part in the movie, was present at the screening along with some other film people I didn’t recognize- they were thrilled to see the response Bhai was getting and when I walked up to him and wished him he seemed radiant and waiting for the show to begin). The movie started off with the title song, replete with Salmanisque dance steps (no one else can carry stuff like that off) and an extremely over the top action scene (which made me squirm in my seat I must admit). It then settled down into its narrative and there began the simplistic humor and some incredulous moments at Symbiosis university, where Kareena is a student and Lovely Singh (Salman Khan of course) has been sent as her bodyguard to protect her from her father’s enemies who are after her life. The plot is simple- the love story between a girl and her protector- but the story isn’t- just as the beautiful song of the film highlights- “Teri Meri Prem Kahani Hai Mushkil- Do Lafzon Mein Ye Bayan Na Ho Paaye”.
The movie actually takes off pre-interval, and does not lose its steam till the very end. The first half of the movie sets-up things rather well, but it is the second half that makes this film a must watch for everyone who loves Hindi films. Yes, this is the quintessential Hindi movie, complete with emotions and superb action towards the culmination of the story. (The pre-climax action sequence is the best one I have seen in a long time). The character of Lovely Singh, although being a tribute to the hero’s tough exterior, is actually a far cry from Salman has attempted in recent times. He is my favorite actor, so I won’t say much for his performance. But I can certainly say that Kareena Kapoor comes up with her best performance since Jab We Met, and her beautiful portrayal of Divya actually surprised me quite a bit (for I am not exactly a fan).
The songs of the film area another highlight- While the title track and ‘Desi Beats’ are there to keep the crowds happy, ‘I Love You’ and ‘Teri Meri’ are the ones that are truly part of the narrative, and create an impact. In fact the haunting tune of ‘Teri Meri’ is used more than once as background score in the second half, and it adds to the emotional under trappings of storyline.
I am tempted to write a lot more, but I will just end it by saying ‘Thank You’ to Salman Khan, for choosing and believing in such a subject, and executing it on such a lavish scale. ‘Isko Nahin Dekha toh Phir Kya Dekha’
PS: Here is the song, that actually sums up the film quite beautifully (heck I have never used the same word this many times in anything I have written before). I think this one will become a favorite song with many after watching the film (Music by Himesh Reshammiya)