Intermingled with the domestic influence and the one sole beautifully worded song the movie is a heady mix of adrenalin, patriotism and domestic ties.
The name “Baby” is a misnomer; but then it is aptly so. In fact for some time I kept away from it more so having been subject to Akshay Kumar’s similarly named corny movies. But this one is different. It’s almost as if Akshay awaits these scripts to rejuvenate himself and display his true caliber. Usually Bollywood army / espionage movies are full of statements which tend to be cheesy and creepy. But “Baby” strikes the right chord from Scene One.
Neeraj Pandey directs a clean, no-nonsense, crisply edited movie which though based on fiction is something our men in uniform will vouch happens unfailingly and keeps the balance with our western friend going. We have our unsung heroes and if this movie doesn’t make you spare a thought for them nothing will. Neeraj hits the issue elegantly when Danny answers a direct question from the Minister. Made out with classy elegance it captures every essence of covert operations down to the last nuance (tyres being deflated before venturing into the sand dunes).
The beauty of the film is its reliance on several small stories which actually lay the foundation for the main movie. And each of these stories is well crafted, carefully executed and leaves you gasping for breath. Intermingled with the domestic influence and the one sole beautifully worded song the movie is a heady mix of adrenalin, patriotism and domestic ties. But somehow it never gets clinging or crawly.
There are fleeting visions of the odd Hollywood films (Ben Affleck’s “Argo”), but the genre remains undiluted to the core. It’s refreshing to see this level of class and composition from the Bollywood stables.
Danny heads a special unit of Indian paramilitary officers on an anti-terrorism mission, moving from clue to clue, following up stray leads and using technology only considered the prerogative of Hollywood till date. Akshay Kumar plays Ajay Singh Rajput, apparently the last active man standing in a group which specializes in covert operations with tacit political approval.
What is refreshing is the acceptance of the powers-that-be to start accepting that we can hear the name “Pakistan” as the national enemy and the fact that it is the hot bed of all terrorist activities.
Cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee’s camera work is clinical, much like the movie, and touches locales from Turkey to Nepal to the deserts with the same deft touch we identify him with. Crunchy dialogues, innovative action sequences, undeniable idiosyncrasies (Anupam Kher in a wonderful cameo) make the movie a sure fire winner in each and every aspect.
Some may think that the end is a wee bit stretched out but then grant the devil his due. Even the odd domestic interlude is something our guys in uniform will immediately identify with. But then detractors have to be created and the movie has to have some distractions to make it complete.
Miss it and you will do yourself a disfavour.
Shubhojit is a retired Army officer. An NDA alumnus, he has commanded an artillery regiment and also done a stint with the United Nations. Out on civvy street, he works in the energy sector, and goes around the world creating wind farms.
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