Ram Kamal Mukherjee

After Modi, Salman does a Mann(Key) Baat

By Ramkamal Mukherjee

He can’t fly like monkey god. He doesn’t even have a tail. But he is Bajrangi. But he can do things which even Narendra Modi and Nawaz Shariff would dread. He can take the tunnel way to Pakistan without visa, walk in burqa with sport shoes in Pakistan and beat the hell out of Paki cops if he gets angry. And uptil now, we thought only Sunny Deol could uproot a hand pump in Pakistan! Our Bajrangi takes the challenge to a different level. No wonder, Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan is probably making more money than the entire budget of state assembly election! Breaking all the records, cassettes and discs, producer Salman Khan is counting moolah. Of course, he has earned enough to hang his boots. But no, he is not retiring. Not so soon. He wants to get married and have babies. And he is still a virgin. Remember, he told KJo in his caffeine show?¬†


This ‘bahubaali’ doesn’t need any VFX, he doesn’t work with logic, he doesn’t believe in the language of cinema, he is Salman Khan. He is beyond all criticism. Let columnist Shobhaa De scream from her SoBo rooftop, no one is hearing her – just like the climax of the movie. Too many cheerleaders for Bhaijaan. Fans of Salman Khan doesn’t care, and frankly speaking no one cares, even the nation doesn’t care and not even Arnab Goswami.

This is the most democratic cinema of Salman. It’s by Salman, of Salman and for Salman. Bajrangi aka Salman Bhaijaan wins the heart of his fans and detractors with a subject that’s gritty and being ‘Hanuman’ grrr human.

The threadline of BB is thinner than your pasteurized milk. A lost girl Shahida from Pakistan takes shelter under the biceps of Bhaijaan. The 180 minute movie deals with the ordeal of a mute Pakistani girl (extraordinary performance by Harshali) lost in Hindustan. How Bhaijaan saves the little angel from odds and sends her back home in the plot. Post interval enters Salman’s side ‘kick’ Nawaazuddin Siddique. A journalist who is trying to make it big in Lahore. After couple of twists and turn he becomes a part of their journey.

I must admit that no one can make a better customized film for Salman, other than Kabir. If we can ignore tacky sets of chandni chowk, the cliché sub plots like shakahari and mangsahari and greedy travel agent selling Munni in a brothel, the film has a soul. Eyes will moist with occassional lump in your throat sequences. Breathtaking outdoor locations and seasoned performance from supporting cast, Bajrani Bhaijaan will entertain everyone.

The film talks about spreading love, equality, respect amongst all. It tackles with border issues in a Rajkumar Hirani style. While Modi has been trying to reach out to people across the border with his ‘mann ki baat’, Salman took a much effective ‘Monkey baat’ to nail the issue.

Though most of my fellow colleagues praised Nawaazuddin for his cameo, but I feel it was an out-and-out Salman Khan show. For a seasoned actor like Nawaz, this character is nothing but a cake walk. We have seen him in much better and bigger roles. But for Salman who barely experiments, this was a welcome change for his detractors. And apart from Salman, if you bring home anything else from the movie, that would be Harshali’s innocence. She epitomizes the serenity of Kashmir.

I wonder why Salman never gets a director like Mani Ratnam, R Balki, Shamit Amin or Vishal Bharadwaj? Now that he owns a money plant, (not that he ever had any financial issue) he can gift audiences with atleast one sensible film a year. I am sure that many directors would love to cast him, maybe they cannot afford his market price. But for stars like Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir, they should give a window to indie film makers just to add variety. He is at the right age, he needs to experiment, explore and expand his horizon as an actor. And one thing I like about the Khans – they all look super hot in a stubble.

Oh yes, before I forget… there is Kareena Kapoor Khan also, who has a slightly bigger role than Adnan Sami in the film.

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