Cast: Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Rana Daggubatti, Taapsee Pannu
Director: Neeraj pandey
Length: 2hrs and 40 minutes approximately.
In Bollywood we usually don’t have enough of films like the ones which Neeraj Pandey churns out. BABY is a film which could have easily trespassed the boundary and could have been one exciting India revolting against Pakistan kind of a film, but Neeraj Pandey walks a thin line between patriotic drama and intriguing thriller and that’s what knocks it out of the park for BABY. The last time I remember was unmoved from my seat and hardly time to breathe in a thriller was Abbas-Mustan’s RACE which released almost 7 years back. Now that one was much safer film compared to BABY and Pandey along with his leading man, who is in stupendous form, lends the film all the finesse it required in terms of direction or acting.
There is a clear hangover of “D-day” which was directed by Nikhil Advani but BABY in contrast has a rather uncompromised screenplay for almost all its runtime. The film moves steadily from one episode to other and nicely involves one character after other. A lesser competent director could have wrangled up his screenplay to give broader narration for important characters in the film, but Pandey knows his work- even in just 4 scenes of Kay kay Menon, he remains one of the poignant characters of the film. The first hour of Baby although engaging and riveting but has lose ends like the clichéd family story of the protagonist which is almost like a signature plot of every film in these pattern of films.
But longing for almost 95 minutes, the second half is were BABY takes you for a ride. The operations in the film are explained smartly without spoon-feeding or manifesting about any twist. At places the film is predictable and little convenient, but nitpickings aside the second hour is rather outstanding. The film almost makes you jump in your seat and asks you to switch on your brains to think a little. The film could’ve ended with a little more elaborated narration, but yet, for whatever it is, it is enjoyable and engaging every minute.
The action scenes look authentic and have those thrills. The one where we have Taapsee Pannu doing some “real” action is highpoint of BABY. The gun-fights too are handled with panache. Cinematographer does a mid blowing job and he places his eyes on all the apt locations. The story and screenplay plays pivotal role in making what BABY is.
Akshay Kumar blends his performance with vulnerability and strengthening aggression and chalks out a terrific character that has more things to do than say. Anupam Kher’s comic undertones are overwhelming. Taapsee Pannu impresses enormously in those 15 minutes that she features.
BABY is nail-biting thriller at its best. The film has sharp wit at places, like the one where Akshay Kumar shuts the room door and slaps the manager or even Anupam Kher’s over-smart one-liners, and yet the film maintains its taut narrative mostly without any speed-bumps. That says a lot about a film that hooks you for about 160 minutes without indulging into songs or compromised drama. Should you watch it? Well, is that a question?
Rating – 4/5Tags: Akshay Kumar Anupam Kher Baby Danny Denzongpa Member Reviews Neeraj Pandey Rana Daggubati Reviews Taapsee Pannu