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History Is Made By Those Who Give A DAMN!
Jan 25, 2015 09:34 AM 9694 Views





It’s difficult for artists to come up with masterpieces more than once. But Neeraj Pandey just did the unthinkable. He became known with his first film A Wednesday that turned out to be arguably the best film of 2008. His next, Special 26, too was a brilliant and one-of-its-kind entertainer though not as classic as A Wednesday. And now he is back with Baby and believe it or not, it is the finest Hindi film on terrorism till date!

The story of the movie: Firoze Ali Khan(Danny Denzongpa) forms an undercover team of commandoes after the gruesome 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. The team is called Baby. Ajay Singh Rajput(Akshay Kumar), a sincere and dedicated member of this force, faces a difficult situation one day when one of his team members turns rogue. From here on begins the cat and mouse chase between the members of Baby and the terrorists, headed by the evil Maulana Abdul Rahman(Rashid Naz). The terrorists are smart and have the advantage of the element of surprise. But Team Baby is not a weak one either and has all the capabilities in them to teach a lesson to the terrorists.

To be honest, the beginning portions of Baby are not entirely gripping. The fun begins once Ajay nabs Jamal(Karan Gupta). The song ‘Main Tujhse Pyar Nahin Karta’ comes up unexpectedly and one wonders if Baby will go the Special 26 way by placing unwanted songs and thereby halting the story. Thankfully, the song is just 90-100 seconds long and the focus is kept on the adventures of Team Baby. Bilal Khan’s(Kay Kay Menon) escape sequence is too good and the intermission point is also well shot and written. However, the real fun is the second half. In fact, while the first half is just 1 hour long, the second half spans 1 hour 40 minutes! And this is the best decision taken by the makers as the film moves in a flow in the second half and an intermission point somewhere out there wouldn’t have worked. The Nepal track too has its moments but the best part of the film is the final 40-45 minutes. It is outstanding wherein the level of tension goes to an all-time high! At places, the film does get slightly predictable. But yet, one can’t help but get engrossed and wonder what’ll happen next. And the film culminates on a brilliant note. There was a huge applause in the end and also in between and I am sure this will happen in theatres across the country!

Baby is a rare film where each and every principle actor gets a chance to portray an interesting and well-written character. Hence, all the supporting actors too leave a lasting impression, even though their screen time won’t be more than mere 10-15 mintues. Akshay Kumar of course is the leading actor and gives an outstanding performance! He has always been versatile but sadly, viewers failed to see it and often dubbed him as someone who gets repetitive. Hopefully, with Baby, such stupid ‘observations’ will stop once and for all. The actor understands that Baby isn’t in a typical masala film space and performs accordingly. A performance to watch out for!

Taapsee Pannu(Priya) leaves a huge mark despite being in the film for just sometime. Danny Denzongpa underplays his part very well. Rashid Naz has a great screen presence and his mere expressions did a lot of talking. He’s brilliant in the film’s finale though. Kay Kay Menon doesn’t get many dialogues and yet gives a hard-hitting performance. Karan Gupta is impressive. Sushant Singh(Wasim Khan) looks quite menacing and delivers a very fine performance. Jameel Khan(Taufeeq) portrays the negative part quite effectively. Rana Daggubati(Jai) is fair and does a nice job in playing the supporting part. Anupam Kher(Shukla) enters the narrative pretty late but raises lot of laughs with his antics and ‘tu tu main main’ behavior! Mikaal Zulfiqar(Ashfaq) looks quite dashing and gives a superb performance. Hasan Noman(cop in Al-dera) also looks great and gives a great performance. Murali Sharma(Gupta) is quite entertaining. Madhurima Tuli doesn’t get quite much scope but is fine otherwise. Other actors who do a great job are Amar Talwar(minister), Jayant Wadkar(Gawde) and the actor who plays Aftab.

Music gets absolutely no scope. Sanjay Chowdhury’s background score however is terrific. Sudeep Chatterjee’s cinematography is splendid and the various locales of Mumbai, Delhi, Kathmandu, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi are beautifully captured. Special mention should also go to the VFX team – especially in the desert sequence and Bilal Khan’s escape scene. Cyril Raffaelli and Abbas Ali Moghul’s action is real and very enjoyable. Shree Narayan Singh’s editing is sharp.

Neeraj Pandey’s story is original and quite exciting. Dialogues are witty and at some places, add to the fun. Screenplay is watertight and same goes for the direction. The film is 160 minutes long but nobody will complain as there’s enough happening in the film in every second to keep viewers engrossed. What’s interesting is that there’s no emotional angle as such that we often see in Hindi films dealing with serious issues. In Baby, the focus is just on the team members and how they execute their risky missions. And yet, it works and viewers constantly will be hooting for Ajay Singh Rajput. Moreover, Neeraj also uses the religion angle very smartly and makes it clear that terrorism has no religion and condemns people being brainwashed in the name of religion. In short, Neeraj Pandey just rocks and can’t just wait for his next dhamaka!

Some of the best scenes:

  1. The chase sequence in Istanbul

  2. Ajay interrogates Jamal

  3. Maulana Abdul Rahman gives a fiery speech

  4. Bilal Khan escapes

  5. The intermission point

  6. Ajay follows Priya

  7. Priya gets into a fight(brilliant!)

  8. All scenes of Gupta

  9. The last 45 minutes(out of this world!)

On the whole, Baby is simply outstanding and surely the best Bollywood film on terrorism! It doesn’t have an emotional angle as such and yet works big time. The various unexpected developments in the film keep viewers engrossed and the final 45 minutes are extremely gripping and will keep you on the edge of your seats. Almost all principle actors are brilliant – Akshay, Taapsee, Rana, Anupam, Sushant, Kay Kay, Rashid Naz, Jameel, Danny, Mikaal, Hasan etc – and it’s difficult to pick one. But the real best performer at the end of the day is Neeraj Pandey, now easily one of the greatest filmmakers of the country! Go for Baby right now…don’t even think of missing this gem!

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