UTV Motion Pictures and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s Baaghi (UA) is an action-filled love story. Ronny (Tiger Shroff) comes to Kerala to the ashram of Guruswamy (Shifuji Shaurya Bhardwaj) to master the art of Kalaripayattu (a martial art) as that was his late father’s wish. Training under Guruswamy are hundreds of students including his own son, Raghav (Sudheer Babu Posani), who is the best. Ronny, at first a reluctant learner, soon becomes serious and picks up the martial art wonderfully well.
In Kerala, Ronny meets Siya (Shraddha Kapoor) whom he had briefly met earlier. Siya has come with her parents to visit her maternal grandmother. Her greedy father (Sunil Grover) wants to make her a film actress.
Ronny and Siya fall in love with one another and soon, they decide to marry one another. But before that, Raghav, smitten as he is by Siya, takes a proposal for marriage to her greedy father who agrees because he (Raghav) is a very rich man. Not just that, Siya’s father creates a terrible misunderstanding between Ronny and Siya so that they break up. Raghav, meanwhile, has killed his own father, Guruswamy, for having dared to warn him not to force himself on Siya. The evil Raghav and Siya’s father even frame Ronny for Guruswamy’s murder.
Fate brings Ronny and Siya together again – in Bangkok this time. Ronny has undertaken, for a handsome fee, the task of securing the release of Siya who is being held captive by Raghav in Bangkok so that she gives her consent to the marriage. By the way, Raghav decides to not even touch Siya till the two get married.
Ronny agrees to save Siya from Raghav’s clutches because he needs a lot of money for the surgery of a little child who can’t speak. The doctor has assured Ronny that the child would be able to speak after the surgery.
What happens when Ronny reaches Bangkok? Does he meet Siya? Is it possible to save Siya, given the animosity between them? Does Siya’s father come in the way?
Sanjeev Dutta has penned a story which is similar to stories which used to be the base of films made in the 1980s and early 1990s. His story offers nothing new except the setting. His screenplay fails to establish things with conviction. Why Siya has been shown to be an upcoming actress, how she falls in love with Ronny, why is it so easy for her father to create a misunderstanding between her and Ronny, why does the unscrupulous Raghav (who has killed his own father) leave Siya untouched rather than raping her – all these questions trouble the viewer as there are no answers given. Because these questions remain unanswered, the audience gets the feeling that the screenplay is one of complete convenience. Even the romance belongs to an era gone by. Comedy is sought to be created but the comedy tracks of Siya’s father as also of Harry (Sanjay Mishra) and Sukhi (Sumit Gulati) fail to evoke the desired laughter. Emotions are conspicuous by their absence as the viewers fail to root for the lovers and pray for their reunion after their fallout. Even the track of the little mute child and his surgery is forgotten in the end. It hasn’t even been used to draw emotions in the rest of the film. In a way, that entire track looks like a waste when the film ends.
In the absence of a convincing and engaging screenplay, what remains for the entertainment of the audience is raw action which is abundant. In fact, the action and stunts are the high point of the film. But a word of caution here: although the dare-devil stunts are breathtaking and will be loved by the masses, they are so excessive that ladies, families and audiences of the top-line multiplexes will not approve of the high dosage. The chase sequence in Bangkok in the post-interval portion may be exciting for the stunts done by Ronny but it (chase) seems never-ending and gets a bit too much for the viewers to digest. Overall also, there is so much action after interval that classes and family audiences may be put off. In other words, the action-and-stunts overdose could have been avoided.
Sanjeev Dutta’s dialogues are good at places but ordinary otherwise.
Tiger Shroff looks good, having worked very hard on his physique, and acts quite well. He is astounding in action and stunt scenes and will be loved for them. He also has a unique style of dancing. However, he needs to get into the skin of the character and speak Hindi in a non-Anglicised style to create a greater impact. Shraddha Kapoor gets limited scope as she doesn’t have much to do in the second half. She has performed well, though. Her dance moves are extremely graceful. She is also good in action scenes. Sudheer Babu Posani makes for a very effective villain. He plays Raghav with complete conviction. Shifuji Shaurya Bhardwaj is alright as Guruswamy. Sunil Grover acts ably as Siya’s father but his comic scenes often lack punch due to weak scripting. Sanjay Mishra and Sumit Gulati’s comedy is ordinary. Sourav Chakrabarthy leaves a mark in the role of Biju. Aryan Jiger Prajapati (as Subbu), Seema Bora (as Siya’s mother), Zarine Viraf Variava (as Siya’s grandmother), Chivpatrick Tang (as Yong) and Alina Ramani (as Biju’s wife) provide fair support. Jagdish Kansara (as the lawyer), Jakkrit Kanokpodjananon (as Kim), Prashant Singh (as Gopi), Madhiyalan Subbaiah (as Guruswamy’s assistant) and the rest are okay.
Sabbir Khan’s direction is lopsided. He concentrates so heavily on action and stunts that he has almost ignored the drama portion of the script. But he does know how to ensure clap-traps. Music (Meet Bros., Amaal Malik, Ankit Tiwari and Manj Musik) is melodious and all the songs are appealing. Lyrics (Kumaar, Abhendra Kumar, Sanjeev Chaturvedi and Raftaar) are of a good standard. Choreography of the ‘Chham chham’ song (by Ganesh Acharya) is the best. Picturisations of other songs (by Ahmed Khan and Bosco-Caesar) are alright. Julius Packiam’s background music is quite nice. Binod Pradhan’s cinematography is excellent. The locations on which the film has been shot are eye-filling. Action and stunts (by Kecha Khamphakdee and Javed-Aejaz) are breathtaking and unique and deserve a lot of praise. Several action scenes will inspire the viewers to clap in glee. Rajat Poddar’s production designing is appropriate. Editing (by Manan Sagar) is sharp.
On the whole, Baaghi has extraordinary action and good music as its plus points but a weak script as a minus point. It will score with the masses and will, therefore, do very well in single-screen cinemas, masses-frequented multiplexes and smaller towns but its business in the better multiplexes will be limited. Reaching the safety mark (recovery of entire investment and some commission) should not be a problem, also because recovery from sale of satellite rights is sizeable (around 35% of the total investment).