baap

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Hema Malini, Prakash Raj, Raveena Tandon, Sonal Chauhan, Charmi Kaur, Makrand Deshpande, Rajeev Mehta

Director: Poori Jagannath

Rating: ***

Every once in a while Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap makes a half-hearted attempt to be a real movie about underworld dons, bombs and a terrorised Mumbai; about saffron swamis and their evil empires; about a gangster father, a cop son, and an estranged couple. But it really is something else. Bbuddah Hoga… is Amitabh Bachchan porn, X-rated. The film contains content that is not suitable for non-fans.

For fans, on the other hand, it is one big, happy bear cuddle with the man with whom they’ve had their longest love affair.
Every piece and person in this concocted world is carefully picked and stacked to establish and enhance one man’s glory. Each premise and twist in the story is a stimulant to trigger different avatars of the man. There is a son who needs protection, a goonda who is asking to be killed, a city that needs saving, a matrimony that requires some engineering, a dead marriage that must be redeemed, true love that needs expression and dance moves that beg repetition.
Director Poori Jagannath’s Bbuddah Hoga… pauses when Bachchan struts in slow-mo, and it pauses again when he rides a motorbike (this time a Harley Davidson); it goes aah when he smashes bad guys’ heads, and smiles when he marros sharp lines to humiliate one and all; its hand reaches for its heart when he sings a soulful love ballad, and it drops a tear when the old man says “I won’t be around for long”. You know you are being played, but since Bachchan is doing the playing, it’s okay.

THE SITUATION that requisitions Bachchan: For some inexplicable reason one underworld don, Kabir (Prakash Raj), wants to keep bombing the city of Mumbai. But upright and brawny cop, ACP Karan (Sonu Sood), won’t let Kabir and his minions trigger bombs in peace. So Kabir offers supari to a sharpshooter to assassinate Karan.
Cut to the airport where a tall, bearded man in a crisp white linen suit and yellow scarf saunters in and marros that Hum jahan khare ho jaate hain… (Kaalia) line to a gaggle of bewildered cops. A few things are immediately established: This cool cat’s name is Vijju (Amitabh Bachchan), and he doesn’t respond well when called a bbuddah.
Vijju takes a Cool Cab and arrives at an aunty’s home where he will be a tenant. Salsa music comes alive as he walks behind the lady, inspecting her behind. Note: Old man is naughty.
Vijju is in town on a mission that has something to do with ACP Karan (details will be revealed later, via a twist). He reconnects with old friends, orders guns, bombs, a bazooka, and finds two hangout places: A coffee shop and a daru ka adda. At the coffee shop he befriends wide-eyed duffer Amrita (Charmi Kaur) and her friend and object of Karan’s desire Tanya (Sonal Chauhan). He indulges in entertaining banter with the girls and shoots to impress a goonda and join Kabir’s gang.
While Karan is chasing Tanya, Amrita’s mother Kammo (Raveena Tandon) is chasing Vijju and Amrita is wailing to know if she is actually Vijju’s daughter. Vijju is working on a plan that, when made known, will establish that he is more than just a guy who runs a bar in Paris.

BBUDDAH HOGA… is not just unapologetic in its love for Bachchan, it is embarrassingly obsequious. Everything here is designed to hide Bachchan’s wrinkles and cover his tires. We get him in oversize shirts, quirky shades and gumboots, we hear him sing and watch him shake his booty with gori-gori girls. His bullets curve when he wants them to and his kicks and blows are accessorised with bloody dead men, though all the action is on his face… scowling, gnarling or just wry.
Corny, a little desperate and contrived, but Bbuddah Hoga… knows that and doesn’t care. The film’s main concern is to please Bachchan and his fans.
When Amitabh Bachchan is introduced to us, it is in the vein of Delhi’s favourite line: Tujhe pata hai main kaun hoon? No self-deprecating talk, just self-aggrandising chatter. As we get to know Vijju better, he talks of love, life and laghu and deergh shankh (pee and potty), but we are never alone with him. We are also always with Jai, Vijay, Kallu, Tiger, Sikandar, Johnny, Raj Malhotra… their songs, their on-screen romances, their kicks and promise of death if crossed.
Bachchan playacts here, but with chutzpah and humour and still has the power to make you smile and weep.
Director Jagannath pays little attention to the film’s story or continuity. If you accept all this, you’ll find the little idiot girl and her idiot mommy cute, Bachchan’s dialogues funny, the silly background music hysterical and the geriatric romance heart-warming.
Bbuddah Hoga… tickles, entertains and even comforts the fan. But Vijju is no Tiger and Bbuddah Hoga…no Hum. Even for the die-hard fan, Bbuddah Hoga...is a special of the day that won’t be going on the main menu.
Prakash Raj, who emits tiny gobs of spit when he talks, plays his own stereotype. Sonu Sood is muscular and does action well. Sonal Chauhan is pretty in a dull sort of way.

 

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