4 kinds of Salman Khan, out of which couple of them justify their presence, Jai to his Veeru, Buzz Lightyear to his Woody, quirkiness to his subtlety – Sunil Grover, a fellow artificial old-aged soulmate – Katrina Kaif, a long-distance-relationship reject Disha Patani & more
Director: The man who thought it would be emotional enough to have the central character named on the country (thank god, someone in Kyrgyzstan didn’t get this idea) – Ali Abbas Zafar
There are few idiosyncrasies attached with the movies of certain stars – Shah Rukh Khan’s spreading his arms, emotional angle in an Aamir Khan film & ‘no animals were harmed’ certificate during Salman films (just kidding). We’re so obsessed with Salman having an entry scene; Ali decided to shoot a stand-alone scene as Bharat’s first scene and shabbily patched up with the film. In short, Bharat gets partitioned during 1947 from his father; now he has an entire family to take care of.
He washes cars, polishes shoes, joins the circus, goes to the middle east for a job, becomes a Merchant Navy officer with only one thought in mind (he has to keep his family together). In the meantime, he befriends Vilayati (Sunil Grover), falls in love with Radha (Disha Patani) and MadamSir Kumud (Katrina Kaif). Bharat, in the climax, remembers he’s on the quest to find his lost father (Jackie Shroff) and lil sister. Will they reunite? That’s what the story is all about.
Remakes come with the limitation of what one could have done! Yes, Ali could have gone all out with just keeping the basic plot of the film same. He played with a very risky subject of the timeline because the to-and-fro drags the process. Credit where due – Ali’s direction, Marcin Laskawiec’s cinematography, Julius Packiam’s background score are the three major pluses of the film. Some scenes show the emotional struggle of Ali between keeping what he wants & ending up with some random sequences to please Bhai-fans.
Salman Khan’s breakdown scene showcases the optimum limit of his talent as he owns the aura. But then, he’s very unconvincing in the old-age portions. Nowhere near his recent bravura performances of Sultan, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Tubelight, but still very lovable. He holds the proceedings very well in the emotional scenes but is very ordinary during the rest of the film.
Katrina Kaif comparatively feels more believable in the older portions, and she has played with her voice really well. As usual, she plays with her expressions amazingly well. Sunil Grover plays the rich man’s Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub here and gets a very meaty role. He’s not there just for the comic relief but the friendship angle just doesn’t click as it should’ve been. This should be because of the stretched story, and also because it could have been a lot but ends up being half-baked.
From the cameos, Satish Kaushik and Shashank Arora are royally wasted. Jackie Shroff is good and with very less screen time, his chemistry with Salman’s character is penned perfectly. Tabu just has one scene, which is good. Disha Patani’s smoking hot appearance adds nothing substantial to the story, so she’s forgettable. Same is the case with Nora Fatehi, apart from the dance in Turpeya she’s there just for a couple of scenes sans any dialogues (which is a good thing too). The script doesn’t do any good to the talent of Brijendra Kala and Kumud Mishra as well. Sonali Kulkarni as Bharat’s mother is least of the important when it should’ve been a game-changer for the script.
As in Tiger Zinda Hai and Sultan, Ali was damn sure of what he wanted to show. Whereas Sultan was backed by hefty writing, Tiger Zinda Hai was all about Salman’s Swag. In Bharat, Ali gets stuck between the two and finds nowhere to go till the climax. This is a ‘Sultan… Zinda (Nahi) Hai’ moment for Ali. He should’ve gone either way from the both but he decided to be Santa Claus and make everyone happy. Not any major complaints about his direction, but story and screenplay are in the question here. Julius Packiam should be hired permanently to deliver the background score for Salman Khan films.
All said and done, Bharat is no Sultan or Tiger Zinda Hai – it’s the weakest film of Ali Abbas Zafar. The pace is the culprit along with the length. In order to keep something for everyone, Ali also keeps nothing for someone.