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Jan 23, 2015 03:29 PM 9619 Views
(Updated Jan 23, 2015 03:44 PM)





Baby(2015 film)

STATUTORY WARNING: This reviewer will not delve too much into the story of the movie, reckons a one line description will do just fine. For filmophiles who have

suffered for years at the hands of sadistic reviewers including yours truly, all SPOILERS are at the end i.e. are only for those already done watching.

STORY: It is essentially an espionage thriller.

INTRO: Think Spy and arguably the first image one comes to most people's minds is the tuxedo clad James Bond. Having been a big fan of the Le Carre novels, one longs

to see a spy film which looks into the daily life of a spy, the ordinary man behind that extraordinary job.The earliest memories one has of a JASOOS fillum in our very

own Bollywood was Mithunda's cult bad film, SURAKSHAA in which he was called, hold your breath, G-MAN. And having seen Sriram Raghavan's stylish but mostly dour AGENT

VINOD, Nikhil Advani's D-DAY(brilliant in parts) and Kabir Khan's EK THA TIGER(the less said the better) most recently, one had the lurking suspicion that things

were not getting any better. So it is with slight misgivings that one watches director Neeraj Pandey's BABY(The frown inducing title, in keeping with the director's

penchant for weird titles is right up there)


Given that the movie does not have any songs at all(save for two lines of a forgettable track between the spy and his wife) the background score becomes that much

more critical for the film to work. And Sanjoy Chowdhury does not disappoint. Shree Narayan Singh, the editor of this enterprise is another hero, for BABY has a running

time of 160 mins and seldom does it ever drag thanks to Mr Singh. Sudeep Chatterjee, the man behind the lens does a swell job in creating the tense atmosphere with

his cheek to jowl style of shot taking. This is perhaps Neeraj Pandey's most lavishly shot production and the results are just fine. Neeraj Pandey triumphs again as a

writer and at the risk of sounding cliched, this is seat grabbing, nail biting stuff. The only grouse that this reviewer has from the screenplay is that one expected a last, big twist at the end in keeping with the outstanding turn of events in both his previous films. But then it can be argued that this film has enough surprises all the way through anyway.

Another big plus for BABY is the amazing number of eyeball grabbing cameos. Be it the inimitable Anupam Kher who appears only towards the tail end of the film and yet

leaves a lasting impact especially with his constant banter with Akshay's character, Danny Denzoppa who is perfectly cast in the role of the chief of the espionage

operations, Rana Daggubati as the strong man of the team(Kher's character teasingly calls him HULK) is adequate. But above all special mention must be made of the main

antagonist played with spine chilling impact by Rasheed Naaz. Each and every scene of his is a treat to watch. Tapsee Pannu is perhaps the only weak link in this

ensemble and somehow her fight scene did not convince one or have the desired impact. In a unfortunate coincidence, the only other female character that enjoys any

screen time in BABY is of Akshay's wife which sadly seems forced and perhaps could have worked a little better in the hands of a more competent actor. But doubt it.

BABY is arguably Akshay Kumar's best, in terms of cinematic excellence but not so much in terms of his performance. But his character, at the risk of sounding silly is

a bit like the Batman in THE DARK KNIGHT. Strong, dignified with a quiet, brooding intensity and so he is understandably restrained and there is no scope of playing to

the gallery. And yet, his incredible body language catches the eye(Case in point being the hilarious scene where the office bearer of a politician gets slapped by him which for this reviewer is the best scene in the film) What can say about Neeraj Pandey? Here is a rare gem in the muddy quagmire that is mainstream Hindi cinema who actually wants to use the

art of film making and creative writing to drive home a message. After the crackerjack of a debut in what is still his best, A WEDNESDAY, one felt a little underwhelmed after viewing SPECIAL 26. But, in BABY he is in his element and his grip over not just the script but also the audience is complete.

Might be a bit of an exaggeration to call this one of the greatest films made, but when it comes to the genre of spy films made in Hindi cinema.BABY is top of the heap.

And by a long distance, one must add.

RATING: 3.5/5

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