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Movie Review- Bajrangi Bhaijaan

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Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a 2015 Indian drama film directed by Kabir Khan, and produced by Salman Khan and Rockline Venkatesh.It features Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles.Principal photography began in New Delhi in November 2014, and the film had a worldwide release on 17 July 2015 during the Eid weekend.

7.5/10-IMDb 
9.2/10-Rotten Tomatoes 
8.9/10-FIZZIP
2.5/5-NDTV
2.5/5-THE INDIAN EXPRESS
2.5/5-HINDUSTAN TIMES

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PLOT

The film starts with a Muslim family watching TV in Sultanpur village, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and an expectant mother’s baby kicks when Shahid Afridi leads Pakistan to victory in an India–Pakistan cricket match. A few years later, the baby has grown up to be a young speech-impaired girl Shahida (Harshaali Malhotra). Her mother takes her to Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah in Delhi,India to pray for her speech being returned.

Unfortunately Shahida gets lost in India with no way to head back over the border to her home, and boards a freight train, and reaches Kurukshetra, India. In Kurukshetra, a brahmin devout Shri Hanuman Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi also known as Bajrangi (Salman Khan) is dancing merrily with other worshippers. Shahida spots and follows Bajrangi, and gets associated with him under strange circumstances. He assumes she’s Hindu and separated from her parents. He buys her a Bajrang Bali pendant to protect her from harm.

On his way to Delhi, Bajrangi quizzes the little girl, and calls him Munni to find out which city she’s from, but she doesn’t respond to any Indian town names. Bajrangi meets Rasika (Kareena Kapoor) on the bus in Delhi where he insists they split change over a ticket. She tries to shake him off but finds him in her own haveli, advising her father on how to wrestle. Rasika thinks Bajrangi has come there to harass her but it turns out her father is Dayanand and so, Bajrangi is invited to stay with them.

Principal photography began on 3 November 2014 in New Delhi, with Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan participating. The second filming schedule took place at the ND Studios, Karjat. The third schedule of the film was held in Mandawa, Rajasthan. On 7 January 2015, Khan was seen on the top of castle of Mandawa playing cricket with a young boy.On 10 January 2015, Khan shot with school students in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district.Shooting of the film was completed on May 20. Some scenes of the film were shot at Khan’s Panvel farm house.Shooting of Bajrangi Bhaijaan also took place in Kashmir Valley in places like Sonmarg and Zoji La.

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REVIEW

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a supercharged cross-border drama that goes all out – and then some – in delivering its message of subcontinental peace.

Director Kabir Khan pulls out an old chestnut – the theme of humanity trumping a history of bitterness.

Into this perennially bubbling cauldron, he throws a devout, upright Hindu do-gooder and an achingly beatific but speechless six-year-old Pakistani girl stranded on the Indian side of the border.

Bridging many divides – religion, national identity, food habits – the two develop an unlikely bond that wipes out all prejudices.

The man puts everything at stake, driven by his faith in Bajrangbali, to ensure that the lost girl makes it back home in one piece.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan runs with this wafer-thin premise with such unbridled enthusiasm and vigour that you might be forgiven for wondering if the future of the universe hinged on it.

But even then, strictly from the perspective of Salman Khan’s core constituency, Bajrangi Bhaijaan might seem a touch tame.

The blustery superstar goes missing in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, as do his signature punchlines.

It is, clearly, a calculated risk, a bid to reinvent a successful screen persona that might have outlived its utility in the light of the ageing actor’s off-screen troubles.

Salman plays a Hanuman-fearing, truth-loving straight-arrow bloke from Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh who breaks neither the law nor bones.

Main Bajrangbali ka bhakt hoon, koi kaam chori chheepe nahin karta, he says. So, he does not get into any street fights, spouts no explosive lines and does not take off his shirt. What a bore!

But, then, he is no longer a mere mortal in policeman’s clothing cleansing a neighbourhood. He is now a crusader for truth and love and knows no boundaries. Like the monkey-god he swears by, he can leap over any gulf of mind and land.

Bajrangi loses his cool only on two occasions – once when he has to rescue the girl in his charge from the clutches of a human trafficker in Delhi and then in a Pakistani police outpost.

Of course, what Bajrangi Bhaijaan seeks to communicate is laudable in the current climate of distrust. Wish it hadn’t made such heavy weather of the well-meaning exercise.

The India-Pakistan border obviously plays a pivotal role in Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

The screenplay traverses the entire distance from Wagah-Attari to Rajasthan, and from there to Kashmir, where the drama culminates on an implausibly preachy and screechy note.

Forbidding fences and imposing iron gates loom into view every now and then. At one point of the film, the audience is told that the wires along the border have 440 volt running through them.

So, that is the measure of the protagonist’s heroic act of escorting a mute Pakistani girl back to her village up in the mountains on the other side of the line of control.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan opens in a Pakistani village. A pregnant woman, wife of an ex-army man, is among a group watching an India-Pak one-dayer on a community television set.

Shahid Afridi hits the winning stroke. The crowd erupts in joy. The daughter that is born is christened Shahida.

The girl cannot speak. The film makes no attempt to explain the exact nature of her congenital condition. We figure out along the way that while she is unable to speak, her ears are in perfect condition.

Shahida’s mom decides to take her daughter to Hazrat Nizamuddin dargah in Delhi in the hope that divine intervention would restore her speech.

On the return journey, the mother dozes off. Shahida gets off to play with a baby goat. The train leaves without her.

The girl ends up in Kurukshetra and chances upon her would-be saviour, who makes his grand entry singing and dancing to the tune of Selfie lele re, with a giant Hanuman statue watching over him.

The hero, Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi alias Bajrangi, son of an RSS man and a stickler for form, flunks his school leaving examination ten times and is averse to wrestling because he is tickled all too easily.

When Pawan eventually passes the exam on the eleventh attempt, his shocked father drops dead. But wrestling still remains anathema to our man.

In old Delhi, Bajrangi fights his own prejudices and those of the family of Dayanand (Sharat Saxena).

His only ally in this battle is the patriarch’s daughter, Rasika (Kareena Kapoor in a largely decorative role).

When he tunnels his way into Pakistan, Bajrangi runs into a battery of security agents and cops determined to bring the “Indian spy” to book.

He does not lie, does not eat meat, and is under oath to Bajrangbali to find Shahida’s parents.

In his uphill task, he is aided by ordinary folk in Pakistan – a journo (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a maulana (Om Puri) and even a bus conductor who is so impressed with Bajrangi’s selfless mission that he saves him when the cops comes calling.

Salman Khan may the principal driving force of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, but the real star of the film is the super-cute child actor Harshaali Malhotra.

Her winning smile, her large, playful eyes and a face can melt the toughest heart, even that of a dyed in the wool film critic.

Watch Bajrangi Bhaijaan even if you aren’t an inveterate Salman Khan fan. Harshaali will steal your heart.

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BUDGET

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is made on a budget of around 70 crores. With 20 crores spent on promotion and advertising, the total budget of the movies goes to 90 crores. The movie has already recovered 10 crores from music rights and will recover around 50 crores from satellite rights.

BOX OFFICE

36.04 Crore (Trade Figure)
36.5 Crore (producer Figure as shared by Salman Khan Films)

2 Days Total:
63.08 Crore (Trade Figure)
63.75 Crore (producer Figure)

On Saturday Bajrangi Bhaijaan had 3rd highest single day collection of all time in bollywood history.

Saturday of Bajrangi Bhaaijan is higher than opening day numbers of Dhoom 3, Singham Returns and Ek Tiger but is lower than that of PK’s Sunday and Happy New Year’s opening day

Highest Single Day Box Office Collection:
Happy New Year: 40.02 Crore ( Hindi+tamil+telugu)  opening day
PK : 37.74 Crore  3rd day Sunday
Bajrangi Bhaijaan: 36.04 Crore Saturday

This is also highest ever single day collections for a Salman Khan starrer.

On Saturday Bajrangi Bhaijaan Collections jumped by 30% as compared to Friday

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is led by very strong numbers from Delhi/ Punjab belt which is creating new all time records and by Mumbai belt  but is lower in Bengal due to competition with a Bengali movie and in South due to competition with Baahubali.

This is highest Saturday of 2015 by a wide margin.

TRAILER

 

 

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