Bharat Movie Review: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Sunil Grover deliver a BLOCKBUSTER this Eid
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- Film & Video
Bharat Director: Ali Abbas Zafar
Bharat Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Grover, Disha Patani and others.
Bharat Movie Stars: 4/5
A little boy who is forced to be responsible early on, grows up with no regret of a non- existent childhood. He in fact makes it his life goal to put his family before him. The film follows the journey of Bharat (Salman Khan) over the course of several decades as he navigates the ups and downs of life.
"Yeh sher buddha zaroor ho gaya hai. Lekin shikaar karna nahi bhula," says Salman Khan few moments into Bharat. You can almost hear the 53-year-old star roaring under the mask of a 70-year-old man, warning not to mess with him at the box office. Salman takes over Eid 2019 with the help from Katrina Kaif and Ali Abbas Zafar in the form of Bharat. The movie's plot is based on a Korean movie Ode To My Father. The movie also stars Sunil Grover, who plays Salman's best friend. Bharat is divided into five eras. Bharat's childhood, his teenage life, his adulthood, his mid-life and his old age. The movie recalls historic instances like the 1947 partition, Jawaharlal Nehru's death, the 1983 Cricket World Cup, Manmohan Singh's liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation plans and the present times (in this case 2010) to tell the story. Did it work? Absolutely. Here's my review of Bharat:
An official adaptation of South Korean drama Ode to my Father (2014), Bharat focuses on the personal and professional choices of its righteous hero, set against the social backdrop of its time. Separated from his father and sister during the Indo-Pak partition in 1947 as a child, Bharat decides to dedicate his entire life to keeping the promise he’d made to his missing father. He takes it upon himself as the eldest son of the house to look after his mother and siblings, hoping their family would reunite some day. From 1947 to 2010, the narrative traverses a period of over six decades. You see Bharat jumping risky odd jobs to make ends meet.
He even falls in love with the feisty Kumud (Katrina Kaif), who is brave and honest enough to make the first move on him. “I love you. Shaadi ki umra ho gayi hai meri. Tumse shaadi karna chahti hoon,” she says without batting an eye. She proposes marriage without fearing rejection. “I do and say what I think is right,” she adds and doesn’t mind teasing Salman, “Tum thodey self-obsessed nahi ho?” She was impressive even in Zero and Bharat is Katrina’s best acting part till date. Her chemistry with Salman feels natural and she does a good job at portraying a woman who is self assured without being cocky. She is equal, even superior to her man and Ali Abbas Zafar makes no bones about it. Her hair is a different story though. The grey streaks are inconsistent as her character ages and the unruly curls feel unnecessary.
What also stands out in Ali’s writing is how he places Sunil Grover’s character as Vilayati, Bharat’s best friend and confidante. Our best friends are our soulmates, constant companions and it reflects here beautifully. Grover does compete justice to his well-written role and deserves more such significant parts. Sonali Kulkarni and Jackie Shroff are terrific as always. Interestingly, there’s a hidden Sooraj Barjatya in Salman Khan, somewhere. In times of the ‘hookup culture’ being glorified in movies and web shows, his films with old school values often aim to get the families together and that stands out. He acts well and looks good. Salman’s extreme closeness to his real family (parents and siblings), makes him ideal to play Bharat as he embodies his character’s traits, thus making it more convincing.
Ali on the contrary, plays a balancing act. He infuses emotions with ample fun Salman elements that will get his diehard fans to whistle. He mounts the meandering story in an unhurried manner on a huge canvas. While he manages to keep you hooked despite his complex source material and misplaced songs, Bharat has too many things happening at once and too many time leaps. This eventually makes the movie an exhausting, scattered watch despite the entertainment, humour and nobility it propagates. Also, the ‘intention to inspire’ is a bit in your face. While emotional manipulation happens in every film, the fact that it’s evident here makes it a tad overbearing. The reverence is blatant. A little subtlety and crisp editing would have done wonders. Bharat is well-intentioned, entertaining and doesn’t succumb to the trappings of commercial potboilers. The fact that it tries a bit too hard to prove that, is its problem.
High on music:
How can I write a Bharat review without mentioning about the songs, especially Zinda? The song is spread across the movie and ignites goosebumps every time it is played. The background score perfectly blends with the moment, making Bharat a great watch. Ali Abbas Zafar has done a great job with Bharat.
Despite efforts to depict Bharat (Khan) as a man with a Forrest Gump-like ability to bear witness to momentous events, the movie is most engaging when Khan and Kaif share the screen. Kaif is one of the few actors on the planet who can elicit even a flicker of genuine emotion from Khan. She delivered the best performance in the 2018 dud Zero, and she exudes charm and confidence as Kumud, a kinky-haired government official who steals Bharat’s heart and tells him off when nobody else can.
There is unmistakable tenderness as Bharat and Kumud grow old together and look fondly into the distance while exchanging mock jibes and declarations of love. The rest of the 167-minute movie is an unfeeling and overstretched affair that botches its source material and squanders the opportunity to say anything meaningful about Bharat’s journey from the 1940s till the 2010s.
Bharat is defined by Partition, in which he loses his father (Jackie Shroff) and sister (Tabu) while moving from Lahore to Delhi. After migrating to Delhi with the rest of his family, Bharat embarks on a series of adventures with his childhood friend Vilayati (Sunil Grover). Bharat becomes a motorcycle stunt driver in a circus, where he meets his first love, the svelte trapeze artist Radha (Disha Patani). De-aging computer effects help shrink the chasm between the 53-year-old actor and his 20-something co-star, but first, a song has to be sung, breasts have to be heaved and hips must be wiggled.
Tags: Bharat Movie Review,Salman Khan