Film: "Baaghi"; Director: Sabbir Khan; Cast: Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Sudheer Babu Posani, Paras Arora, Sunil Grover; Rating: **1/2
Adapted from two films, the Indonesian movie "The Raid: Redemption" (2001) and the 2004 Telugu release "Varsham", "Baaghi" is an action-packed, run-of-the mill love story of a rebel and his lady love.
Afraid of his son Ronney (Tiger Shroff) going wayward or being a rebel, Colonel Samarjit Singh packs him off to his friend's gurukul, in Kerala, to "make a man out of him".
En route on his journey to meet his father's friend in Kerala, Ronney meets Siya (Shraddha Kapoor) in the train. Love blossoms but not before laying the seeds of the various obstacles which include Siya's opportunist father, E.P. Khurana and Raghav, his guru (teacher)'s son, an equally formidable fighter, who also happens to be on the same train and falls in love with Siya, too.
Tiger Shroff performs competently, displaying his impressive, martial arts skill effectively. Though charismatic and sincere, he fails to leave an impact as Ronney.
There is something endearing and earthy about Shraddha Kapoor as Siya. She is equally effortless in the dancing and action sequences. Sunil Grover as her father, Mr. Khurana gets into the skin of his character with ease. With a tinge of comic and subtle sliminess, he reminds one of Shakti Kapoor, in his hey days.
Sudheer Babu as Raghav is imposing. He is equally agile as Tiger and leaves an impact as the antagonist.
With interesting camera angles capturing the moments of action and drama, cinematographer Binod Pradhan's camera work is striking. Also, his interior shots with aesthetic lighting and wide angled exterior shots in natural lighting are picture perfect.
Julius Packiam's background score with its adrenaline packed beats is effectively used to create frenzied tempo of the action. The songs, "Toh naachu mein aaj, cham, cham", an extempore dance in the rain, seems forced and the song "Agar tu hota to, na rote hum" doubles up as a background score. In totality, the songs are well picturised, but add nothing to the progression of the tale.
While the film is technically dazzling, the director has not paid attention to the narrative. The story written by Sanjeev Dutta is hackneyed and predictable, laden with loopholes and abandoned sub-plots. You expect this to be the story of a rebel, but unfortunately the rebel in Ronney does not surface, except in a weak exposition where his father writes a note to his friend stating that Ronney is a lovable rebel.
The script, punctuated with comic and action sequences, is formulaically crafted. This makes the narration superficial and shallow in nature, making it difficult for the audience to relate to the characters.
The first two acts are moderately paced, it is the climax that is overstretched with a never-ending chase and action sequence, making the viewing a bit tedious.
Overall, with a string of oft seen scenes and action sequences, "Baaghi" offers no novelty, in terms of visual and narrative stance, making it neither exciting nor appealing.