Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Bodyguard: Protect yourself
Watching a Salman Khan film ‘first day first show’ is an experience in itself. I watched it in a multiplex, where there were snaking queues full of excited fans, hoping they’d get tickets for the first show of “Bodyguard”. They were hooting, cheering and screaming in the aisles even before the movie started.
When Khan made his appearance on screen a few minutes into the film, grown men were dancing and cheering him on. This is clearly a star with ample charisma and a fanatical fan following who don’t care for technicalities like good cinema. “Bodyguard”, written and directed by Siddique, is in the same mould as Salman’s earlier Eid hits “Wanted” and “Dabangg”, showcasing the star’s romancing, fighting and comedy skills, thus rendering things like the story and screenplay useless.
Khan plays Lovely Singh, a security officer with an agency, who is assigned the task of protecting the daughter of a rich man from imminent danger. The girl in question (Kareena Kapoor) resents him tailing her all the time, and in the hope of distracting him, makes calls to Lovely Singh, pretending to be a girl who has a crush on him.
Lovely falls for it, and for someone who is supposed to be alert, remains entirely clueless that his phone girlfriend actually lives in the same house as him. There are also some bad guys waiting in the wings to orchestrate fight sequences from time to time, and a twist to the romance angle in the end.
However, this twist is executed so badly, it makes you laugh. The director here is merely incidental and that shows. The gags are not funny at all, some are offensive and the dialogue is lacklustre. Unlike “Dabangg” and “Wanted”, this film doesn’t have a lot of action or pace, which drags for most of the first half.
Salman Khan is unusually subdued in this film, but Kareena makes up for it with her exuberance. The dance moves and songs seem like a rehash of “Dabangg” and “Ready”, making you wonder how many variations of the same film we will have to go through before they finally stop.
The screaming crowd might have been wondering too, because by the end of two hours, they had gone silent, and I even heard some booing towards the end. Unless you are a die-hard Salman Khan fan, please protect yourself from this film.