Seldom does a movie end so brilliantly that even after 2.5 hrs you wish it went on a bit longer.
Director and Writer: Neeraj Pandey
Cast: Akshay Kumar as Ajay Singh Rajput, (India’s Counter Intelligence Agent), Taapsee Pannu, Rana Daggubati, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Danny Denzongpa, Sushant Singh
Baby was finally delivered at Bombay Talkies, Singapore, this week. Mom (Director Neeraj Pandey) and Baby are both doing fine. Having crossed the 65 crore rupees mark (at time of writing), the latest blockbuster is the tortoise set to enter the century plus club. Here are seven reasons why Baby is a must watch:
Unmatched Quality: The number one reason has to be Neeraj Pandey. The five-movie-old director gave us the best movie of 2008 (A Wednesday) and of 2013 (Special 26). After a ‘Total Siyapaa’ 2014, he was due for a strong comeback. He is also currently filming a biography on MS Dhoni. He symbolizes ISI hallmark equivalent quality for cinema.
Akki: Akshay Kumar over two decades has single handedly rivaled the ‘Khan’ dominance on Bollywood. From Khiladi series to comic capers, punctuated in between with brilliant performances time to time – Sangharsh, Special 26, Aan, Khakee immediately come to mind. Akshay is best in serious action roles where he has to underplay himself. He sizzles in Baby. Watch him in the sequence he slaps a government official or when he whispers to his wife about being in a conference whilst amongst a fight. You will start feeling for the life of a spy.
Espionage: While social media has started educating people about the importance of army men (something electronic media has failed), no one speaks of spies who selflessly do the job for the nation without even expecting their own bosses to protect them in time of need.
A brilliant tribute to espionage came in 2013 from Nikhil Advani’s D-Day – a movie which audiences failed to appreciate or even watch. Hopefully Baby will get some to buy D-Day DVD and appreciate the unknown heroes who fight for the nation.
Terrorism: Terrorism is part and parcel of daily news today, it is slowly making us immune to killings in the name of religion, land, oil or nation. We are unlikely to get angry till someone in our family falls victim. But that will be too late. As a country we need to be more angry. In a hard hitting dialogue early in the movie Danny narrates “Akalmandi ghar me baithke marne me nahi, ghar mein ghuske maarne mein hai”.
Good cinema: When ordinary movies gross 100 crores and quality movies flop (D-Day, Citylights, Shahid, etc), we give all wrong signals to film makers. As audience we tend to demean good Hindi movies by comparing them to Hollywood flicks and then flock to see not-so-great potboilers. The audience has loved Baby so far but in a country where Amir Khan’s glossy films have amassed 500 crores plus, in succession, surely good movies deserve just as much. Travel freaks keep an eye on the shots of Istanbul, Kathmandu and Saudi Arabia – some of them will change your perception of those lands.
Stunning second half: Baby is original and comparisons with Zero Dark Thirty or Argo are out of place. It’s like saying any movie on marriage is copy of Hum Aapke Hai Kaun. For couple of glitches in first half, the movie gives a stunner 5/5 in the second half. Seldom does a movie end so brilliantly that even after 2.5 hrs you wish it went on a bit longer. You will be on edge of your seat almost entire duration of the movie and shriek/squeak towards the climax.
Brilliant Cast: The pieces fit so well that despite what looks like 20 minute cameos, each actor leaves an impression. Rana Daggubati’s presence optimized with maximum action minimum dialogues, Anupam Kher is all funny dialogues, Mikaal Zulfiqar is absolute eye candy, Sushaant Singh’s expressions stay and cherry on the pie is Taapsee Pannu’s fight sequence in a hotel room.
Verdict: Must Must Watch! It’s easily the best movie of 2015 and will take some beating.
Box Office prediction: This Baby is worth 100 crores for sure! And Moviemaniacs (like yours truly) will keep a DVD copy too!