Salman Khan is 'not-so-back' with 'Bharat' on Eid this year. With absolutely no logic in-your-face references to patriotism and disappointing acting by the lead actors, Ali Abbas Zafar has delivered what can only be described as a bad film.
This is 2019. We don't live in the times where one would dance on Amitabh Bachchan's songs in front of sea pirates in Somalia!! Really? With no soul whatsoever, 'Bharat' is unreal and disappointing on many levels. Salman Khan's expressionless face, length of the film being unbearably long and dialogues like 'Duniya ki badi si badi jung baat-cheet aur Hindi gaano se ladi jaa sakti hai' — are just a few mind-numbing facts about the film. The list is too long.
The film begins in 2010 where Salman Khan, 'Bharat', a 70-year-old running a grocery shop 'Hind Ration Shop' with Sunil Grover (who plays the character of Vilaayti) meets a couple of investors who want to build a shopping mall in the streets of Delhi.
Salman, who is emotionally attached with the store refuses to sell it. 'Ye sher budha zaroor hogaya hai lekin shikaar karna nai bhoola,' says Salman Khan when he is trying to threaten the investor to never bother him again with the offer.
Katrina Kaif, also 70, enters the scene on a two-wheeler while Salman admires her from a distance. The two along with their family are discussing Bharat's 70th birthday that he wishes to celebrate at Attari train station where he would cut the cake running beside the train.
But the train is late for four hours and the flashback begins where Salman Khan is narrating the story to his family behind celebrating his birthday every year on 15th August at Attari station.
Set in the backdrop of Indian Independence, the film 'Bharat' portrays the journey of a man named with the same name, played by Salman, in parallel with the journey of the country towards independence. With a tagline that reads: 'the journey of a man and a country together', the film features the actor in five different looks according to his age and profession as it follows his life from 1964 to 2010.
An official adaptation of South Korean drama 'Ode to my Father (2014)' and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film is set in the backdrop of partition and the consequent refugee camps. With the tagline that reads: 'Journey of a man and a nation together', the premise of the film is as unbelievable as Salman Khan playing a clean shaved boy in his youth.
Bharat who is separated from his father and sister during the Indo-Pak partition as a child decided to walk on the path of freedom but at a cost. A young boy Bharat makes a promise to his Father, played by Jackie Shroff, that he will keep his family together no matter what.
From 1947 to 2010, Salman Khan works in all the 'risky jobs' to earn money and keep the family intact. From being in circus to an oil rig in Gulf to going on the ship as a mechanic.
'Bharat' is a tryst between a lousy premise and mediocre visuals shouldered by an ensemble of unimpressive performances. The emotions, the patriotism come across forced. Salman Khan is stone-faced and the story is as barren as the screenplay of the film.
It is safe to say that Priyanka Chopra took the right decision it seems by walking out of this 'not-so-mega' film.
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Grover, Tabu, Disha Patani, Jackie Shroff, Nora Fatehi, Satish Kaushik.
What works: Sunil Grover's honest comedy and Katrina Kaif's decent attempt playing a 70-year-old. The man brings in the right amount of humour in between the exhausting and a drag story.
What doesn't work: Right from the story to screenplay to music to performances — 'Bharat' is unreal and with no logic and plausibility. Talented actors like Kumud Mishra, Shashank Arora, Tabu are underutilised. Such sheer waste of talent in a broken and flawed story!
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