Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bodyguard (2011)

After a brief stint at the hospital, a graduation, a severe dearth of decent movies and a mild case of writer’s block, I decided to return to blogging with Salman Khan’s Bodyguard. A few weeks back, I wondered (on Twitter) why the film’s producers had chosen such an aggressive marketing campaign. Not only were the promos and songs on air with an alarming regularity, the actors were promoting the film at every channel on every major programme possible. After all, it is Salman Khan; and it is Eid. This is a combination that has set records for two years in a row. It made me wonder if this was because the film was so bankrupt of content that the producers thought such a campaign necessary to fetch the thunderous start at the box office it now seems destined to have. A preview show later, I can confirm: Bodyguard is an awful film; a massive disappointment, even by Salman’s own standards.

Where do I even begin? There is no plot worth discussing. There is a tough simpleton Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) who must protect the daughter (Kareena Kapoor) of his benefactor (Raj Babbar). The daughter decides to play with Lovely’s emotions by calling him and pretending to be a girl in love with him. A brutal fist fight later, the game (and the love) becomes real. However, the bodyguard doesn’t realize this, dimwitted as he is made out to be in a foolish hope that it is mistaken for adorable. Meanwhile, the bad guys are after her and only he stands in their way.

The film takes this thin premise and stretches it over a 140 minute runtime. So bereft is the film of something that resembles a plot that it even shamelessly borrows a subplot from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in the end to justify its existence. Of course, it is all for naught. Just when you think the movie couldn’t get any worse, it does. Nothing works in the movie. The “love story” is essentially a rather cruel joke. The humour is primarily disgusting and borders on the offensive. The morbidly obese Rajat Rawail who acts as Lovely’s sidekick Tsunami (that’s his name, I kid you not), takes a stab at humour and actually ends up killing it. The jokes are just not funny. In places, they reek of homophobia and sexism. That the script is the product of five writers including the venerable Salim Khan who is credited as a ‘script consultant’ is a reminder of the standards to which writing as fallen to in mainstream, big budget Hindi cinema.

The action doesn’t work either. It lacks thrill throughout because of the lack of a credible villain. All the villains here are in special appearances, not to mention, complete buffoons. As far as choreography is concerned, just when you thought that Hindi films couldn’t overuse cable assisted action sequences any more, Bodyguard proves you oh so wrong. Salman Khan comes across as Neo and George of the Jungle in equal parts as he partakes in action sequences that destroy the laws of physics and make no sense whatsoever. Also, the special effects are just tacky. The sequence where Kareena is chased by a lethal mini helicopter through her house is funny for all the wrong reasons. In fact, as a production, this is just sloppy work in every department.

The only saving grace here is the music as we see Himesh Reshamiya make something of a comeback. The tunes are melodious although their awkward placement does not help them in the least. The performances are wooden. Both Kareena and Salman sleepwalk through their roles. As mentioned earlier, Rajat Rawail should be shot in public interest for his pathetic attempts at making you laugh.

Ultimately, Bodyguard makes Dabangg look like Deewaar and Ready like Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Golmaal. To call it an insult to your intelligence is being kind to it. This is to Salman Khan what Jhoom Barabar Jhoom was to Yash Raj Films and Yaadein to Subhash Ghai. That’s how bad it is. It is a classic case of star power being used to sell a substandard film. My advice? Avoid…at all costs. This Bodyguard will give you a sar dard.  

Rating: 1/5

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