The best thing about Bharat is that it ends! After an excruciating 2 hours and 35 minutes, the exit door bulb lights up and it signifies hope for the wretched movie goer. I remember the scene from Swades when the old woman in the village looks at the bulb which lights up for the very first time. She said “Bijli” in that scene, I gasped “finally”! Bharat will test the last remnant patient cell in your body. I don’t have an issue with a script which initially had a decent outline but does not appear coherent when the final product comes about. But I cry foul when you present the movie as ‘one man’s life, unfolding parallel to India’s journey’ and what you end up delivering is an abysmal mockery of some of the main events in India’s history just to fit in the machismo of Salman Khan in everything.
Directed by his regular collaborator Ali Abbas Zafar, Bharat finally shows Salman ageing. In fact the very first scene of the movie shows a greying Salman as he introduces us to his family. Lest we forget that it is Salman behind those grey hair, the director has him beat up a contractor soon enough and order is restored in the universe. How can it be a 100 crore Salman Khan Productions movie without him going all berserk at ill-fated henchmen and saving the day countless times?
Bharat is the remake of the South Korean Movie ‘Ode to my Father’. The movie starts off decently enough with a poignant scene with India’s partition as the backdrop where the emotional separation of a young Bharat from his father (Jackie Shroff) is captured well. The scene works because Salman isn’t in it. Jackie appears a few more times in the movie but the emotional quotient depreciates due to over play. Also, it’s hard to look through the obvious malaise in our film industry where younger women are cast as auxiliary to aggrandize the male lead. A young Disha Patani, reduced to an eye candy and only hired to gyrate to an average composition, goes to show that the makers are trying to include every cheap option to bring in the audience. Talking about cheap, the scene where Salman unnecessarily starts singing the National Anthem just to play the nationalism card on the unsuspecting audience is just cringe-worthy. It was the first time I felt that the Censor board should start questioning the use of our anthem for useless segues in a badly made movie.
The movie covers 7 decades in the life of Bharat and also India, but soon enough you realise that this is another vanity project for Salman without a heart. The chemistry between him and an equally appalling actor Katrina is something which I took as a positive from the movie. You see the comfort that these two share and although the dialogues are pedestrian, to put it mildly, they are goofy enough to put a chuckle on the faces of the forgiving fans. Sunil Grover needs special mention here as he not only survived the cliched script and unidimensional character, but also is mostly fun to watch. He is one actor I have always been bullish about and hope this is a launchpad that he so deserves.
Bharat is a pain in the head which no Aspirin will help you recover. Thanks to the ongoing World Cup, you have another option to watch and hang out with friends and family. Support the Blues, instead of feeling the blues watching Bharat!