This Salman-Kat starrer is pretty much a deadly disease in disguise, here to take you through a slow painful death… Director Ali Abbas Zaffar, majorly judging you!
Rating – 2 / 5 ⭐️⭐
From an Elvis Presley analogue romancing Disha Patani, to a blue collar worker at a gas pipeline drill; from dancing to Bacchan songs with African pirates on sea, to owning a simple rundown ration store somewhere in Delhi; from being an 8 year old with the most traumatic stories to tell, to being a 70 year old in an unmarried relationship for the last fifty years… Our one and only Bhaijaan has taken full advantage of his gigantic mass appeal by committing to every single character and activity under the roof all squished up into one seemingly never-ending spectacle that literally forces you by the throat to like Salman Khan (when in reality, all you want to do is fight for your money and time back!)
The tale unravels with an 8 year old boy, Bharat (Salman Khan, duh), whose sole mission in life is to look after his family as instructed by his father (Jackie Shroff) right before he lost him and his younger sister during one of the riots of the Partition. Bharat’s life takes him places as we follow his journey (paralleling to the journey of the nation) through different jobs, experiences, love interests, and major life lessons right till we see him at 70 with his love Kumud a.k.a madam-sir (Katrina Kaif) and family, recounting his grand larger-than-life adventure.
” Mere bauji ne desh ke naam pe mera bhi naam rakha hai! “
So, where do I begin? Apart from having a dragged boring storyline sans any real meaning or thought put behind whatever is going on, Bharat not only offers a series of ridiculously elongated scenes in the middle of nowhere (bike stunts, underwear flying around, Sunil Grover dressed as Goddess Laxmi etc.), but also made sure to throw in some random childhood flashbacks (obviously, the one with the family being torn apart), which eventually lost its impact to stimulate any emotion at all. The film spanned over several decades, and yet, not one element was good enough to make the film even slightly likeable!
Our main man Salman Khan was, well, Salman Khan – with not much to offer other than striking poses and beating up the bad guys (even at the age of 70), he probably did more than what was required of him to keep the Bhai fans happy! Katrina Kaif was surprisingly impressive, apart from her annoyingly deep old age voice that is, she stayed committed to her role as Kumud in a graceful and not-trying-too-hard way. Sunil Grover was a charmer! Given a great deal of screen time with his role as chuddy-buddy Vilayati, a combination of his character’s adorable personality as well as his A-level acting struck an instant connection with the audience. That being said, I’m still trying to figure out how Jackie Shroff looked so goddamn young and almost unconvincing as Salman’s dad…make-up hacks maybe?
Bharat also succeeded in bringing out some major cringeworthy aspects throughout the almost-3-hour long film length – from squirmy soundtracks such as Slow Motion (“shaadi hogi, babies hoge, badlenge hum napkin” like seriously?) and the very uncomfortable Aithe Aa, to even more disturbing dialogues like Disha Patani’s only line “Mammi papa ne naam rakha Radha, aur sab jaante hai ki kidi bhi Radha ko apna Krishna nahi milta” and our madam-sir Kat calling Bharatji “sexy” at 70! To top it off, I must add that the Sallu-Kat jodi had absolutely zero chemistry and the transition of their relationship from boss-employee to lovers seemed greatly unnatural and hollow!
So, what really was the point of this lengthy, tedious, full-of-crap show? Was it to remind the audience that Eid equals Bhaijaan film festival? Or was it just a super sloppy remake of the Koran drama ‘Ode to my Father’? Or did the makers just have nothing better to do than torture innocent families with such a senseless spectacle? Well, I don’t have the answer to this, but all I can say is that please try avoiding this one, as hard as that may be…or, you know, you could just rewatch Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, cause at least that was a thousand times more entertaining!
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