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10 Reasons Why Baaghi Is A Hit

Subhash K . Jha

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1.      This modern-day Jackie Chan version of the Ramayan gives you enough  hints signs and indications of its mythological antecedents to keep the traditionalists in the audience happily satiated. The heroine Shraddha Kapoor is named Sia(Sita), the hero is Ronnie(Ram , gone trendy) and the villain isRaaghav who at mid-point sneers, “I was  not going to become Raavan. But now I’ve changed my mind.” Taali. Quite a long way from the Gaali that villains customarily elicited.

2.      Taali versus Gaali: it was Shatrughan Sinha who  brought in the cult of the heroic villain. Now in Baaghi we have the Telugu actor Sudheer Babu playing the agile athletic and arresting antagonist who challenges the hero to a fight to the finish for the heroine’s hand.Coyly this fighting-fit badman refuses to ‘touch’ the heroine until marriage.Evil in a chastity belt!

3.      Tiger Tiger Burning Bright: Tiger Shroff’s evolved. And how! His growth as a personality and as an actor since his debut is miraculous. Tiger looks better and fights with choreographic grace. His muscle co-ordination and reflexes during the action sequences are so precise the fights are  like a ballet in  blood.

4.      The screenplay, though outwardly very ‘now’  is actually very zen. Cleverly the scriptwriter Sanjeev Dutta brings into play  the martial arts in Kerala theKalaripayatu as a theme of valour  in the plot. The use of marial arts to carry forward the film’s aggressive narrative is unique.It gives to the first-half  of the film’s rebellious theme an aura of  a green revolution .

5.      Though the treatment of the  Ramayan theme is slick the film has an old-world feel to it. The characters travel by train and the heroine talks to the rain…Rain plays a very important part  in bringing the lovers together.

Baaghi is a remake of the 2004 Telugu hit Varsham.Tiger plays the role originally played by Prabhas(of Baahubali). Tiger dances and fights better than the Baahubali actor.

6.      A real-life Kalaripayatu exponent  Shifuji Shaurya Bahardwaj plays Tiger Shroff’s martial arts guru. The relationship between guru and shishya echoes The Karate Kid. Except that  Tiger fights much better than  ‘Karate Kid’ RalphMacchio.

7.      The  comic bits involving Shraddha’s avaricious father Sunil Grover and  a blind taxi driver played  by Sanjay Mishra(referring to himself as Hanuman) in  Bangkok work because they are not allowed to break the action aura . Throughout the film  the heroic  saga of a modernday Rama who  brings back hisSita from   the clutches of Raavan remains paramount.

8.      The emotional vestibule is unabashedly oldfashioned. Baaghi allows us to enter the identifiable world of the brooding fighter-hero, the chirpy fast-talking heroine, her ruthless father and a  villain-suitor who won’t take no for an answer. 20 years ago Shraddha’s father Shakti Kapoor would have played the role.

9.      Bring on the kid stuff: There is a mute child

played by Aryan Prajapati

who becomes the hero’s support system  and a prime fountainhead of emotional sustenance.A lengthy fight sequence involves Tiger’s efforts to rescue the child from goons who threaten to do the boy harm. This is a super-hero moment, meant to win Shroff brownie points with the kids.It works.

10.  Tiger Shroff plays what Hrithik Roshan did in his debut film Kaho Na…PyarHai. A super-skilled fighter-dancer who returns from the dead after being bumped off by the villains.Tiger is the new Roshan.

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