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Baaghi Film Review: #EverybodyGoesKungFuFighting

Raid Redemption style action packed with 80s style comedy and an ineffectual romance

Archita Kashyap 29 April 2016, 9:56 PM
T2 Review
Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor in Baaghi

Tiger Shroff and Shraddha Kapoor in Baaghi

Starring: Tiger Shroff, Sudheer Babu, Shraddha Kapoor, Sunil Grover, Kazu Tang

Directed by: Sabbir Khan

Written by: Sanjeev Dutta

Produced by: Sajid Nadiadwala

Cinematography: Binod Pradhan

You will like this if you liked: Dubbed Asian action films

How much would I pay for it: 350/500

Chuck Norris, the veteran star who mentored action as a genre in '70s Hollywood (Way of the Dragon and Delta Force), would rarely speak, emote only on leap years and, basically, end a film with a flying kick. Tiger Shroff emulates him in a spot currently unoccupied in Hindi films — that of the action hero. Baaghi is a slick, speedy and stylish show reel for his fighting skills. It is strictly for action movie buffs. (Read: A real Master Shifu trains Tiger for Baaghi action)

It does not resemble the original Baaghi, made in 1990 with Salman Khan and Nagma. Tiger Shroff as Baaghi is a spoilt, undisciplined fighter who is honed by a Kalaripayattu guru and falls for a power-punching aspiring actor, Shraddha Kapoor. A rich, powerful crime lord based in Thailand, who also happens to be the guru’s son, flips for her too. There’s money, mayhem and lots of rain. A heartbroken Tiger has to rescue his ladylove from the bylanes of neon-lit Bangkok. (Read: Baaghi’ Tiger Shroff says Disha Patani is out of his league)

The film’s biggest letdown is its script, with '80s style comedy wasting Sunil Grover as Shraddha’s greedy Punjabi dad and Sanjay Mishra as a blind taxi driver who turns good Samaritan. If the bad jokes aren't enough, there’s also a speech-impaired child who keeps saying ‘Ya Ya’. An apology to physically-challenged communities ought to accompany this film’s opening credits. (Read: Woah! What scares Tiger Shroff?)

Borrowing bits from the Raid Redemption and South Indian film Varsham, Baaghi writes an ineffectual love story. Shraddha talks to clouds and Tiger smiles away. What the luminosity of youth grants them, badly written scenes and inadequate acting takes away. (Watch: Get Ready to Fight With Shraddha and Tiger)

Having said that, the point of Baaghi is essentially the fighting. The film is pacy and packs multiple fights to keep an action-buff hooked. It has a 40-minute kung fu meets Kalaripayattu climax sequence, which lacks artistry but has tons of adrenaline rushes and super-quick bone-breaking. It is beautifully shot in Goa and Binod Pradhan’s lens lingers on the spa-like fight school interiors. Baaghi wins in technique and visual sheen. Songs provide a much-needed visual relief a few times. (Read: Tiger Shroff feels sorry for his parents)

While there’s an ill-planned quasi-nationalistic pitch for Kalaripayattu as the father of kung fu, seeing Jackie Chan style action in Hindi film is somewhat refreshing.

A surprise find in this film is Telegu star Sudheer Babu, who delivers his performance with panache, nose twitches notwithstanding. Kazu Tang, the action import to Bollywood, has a brief but blitzy fight scene with Tiger that is reminiscent of classic kung fu. (Read: Dear Tiger, you wanna marry a village girl? We've got some options for you)

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