"Slickly executed espionage thriller with an average plot!!!"
The Republic Day on a Monday inevitably meant that the film makers had an extended weekend to take advantage of & Neeraj Pandey's "Baby", which deals with espionage seemed an apt choice. There was a palpable sense of anticipation after all Neeraj had wowed the audience previously with "A Wednesday" & "Special Chabbis". Even the promos of his latest aroused curiosity, as it seemed like a slickly executed movie. So will it live upto the standard of its predecessors???
Baby is an undercover intelligence agency that was formed with the intention to curb the rising acts of terrorism. Ever since its inception, it's highly skilled agents have foiled countless attempts of the militants who were keen to unleash a reign of terror across the nation. Feroze Ali Khan (Danny Denzongpa) was the Chief of Baby & Ajay (Akshay Kumar) was his ace among the agents. The film unfolds with Ajay negating the threat posed by a double agent & in the process, unearths the truth that the dreaded terrorist, Bilaal (Kay Kay Menon) facing trial in the Indian jail was likely to be rescued. All of this was done under the orders of the Pakistan's terror outfit, Lashkar whose leader was Maulana Mohammad Rehman (Rashid Naz). So can Ajay & his fellow agents rise to the biggest challenge that they had ever faced???
Neeraj Pandey credentials needs no introduction as he has already proved it beyond doubt with his previous two ventures. In his latest offing, he has gone for a much larger scale as the characters trot across the globe in their mission to bring the offenders to justice with some impressively executed stunt sequences. However, unlike his other movies; the plot lacks the tautness or reality that you would expect from him as some of the scenes seem too far fetched be it Bilaal's escape or the rather lack of professionalism on the part of the terrorists.. But even then, I thoroughly enjoyed it as the latter half really hooks the audience with some edge of the seat sequences which kinda reminded me of "Argo". As for the technical aspects, the visuals by Sudeep Chatterjee was fantastic along with the action sequences choreographed by Cyril Raffaelli and Abbas Ali Moghul. Even the BGM by Sanjay Chowdhury deserves praise while the editing by Shree Narayan Singh was crisp.
Akki was fantastic as the undercover agent & seemed every bit convincing be it with his stunts or his suave nature. Danny Denzongpa imparted the sense of seriousness that you would associate with such a character. Inspite of appearing towards the latter half of the movie, Anupam Kher provides the hilarious moments in his own characteristic manner. Rashid Naz was menacing while Kay Kay Menon didnt have much to do. Among the rest, Rana Duggabatti was imposing with his bulky frame while Tapsee Pannu steals the scene in her brief appearance.
Verdict: The previous track record of Neeraj would ensure a credible initial, however it wont cater to the masses as such. The plot is pretty average as it does have some notable loopholes & seems far fetched at times, but still it was brilliantly executed & keeps you hooked for sure. In short, check it out !!!
Very Good Actually... Becomes Boring Sometimes But Last 15odd Mins Are Very Thrilling
This May Be Considered Akshay Kumar's Best Movie Ever.Great Story, Good Execution And Akshay At His Best, Though It Loses Pace Sometimes But That Don't Effect Much
I like Neeraj Pandey's stories. His A Wednesday! (2009) is a masterpiece and Special 26 (2013) a good satire. Baby is good, but not great. But consider it as 2015's first watchable film.
The opening credits serve as a prologue which tells us that an Indian elite squad (codenamed BABY because of their martial infancy) is sent out to infiltrate huts of terrorism around the world so as to prevent any act of terrorism in India (and/or elsewhere, but let us focus on the exclusive Indian patriotism here). Ajay (Akshay Kumar), a father of two, is the skipper of this squad and mostly acts as a one-man army. Basically, this squad carries out unofficial surgical operations outside India. The story starts to make sense only after you are successfully pulled inside the plot which maneuvers between places around India and the world.
A brawny first half will make you uncomfortable with some boring sequences that will surely raise few questions on the editor. The humor is destructive rather than constructive as the audience awaits a dose of real thrills. There are one or two scenes that MAY make you feel good from a spectator's perspective, but trust me it looks cooked. Enter second half and greet Anupam Kher in his appreciable performance as a quirky strategist. The pace catches up in the last forty minutes and if it were not for these crucial minutes, I am positive the film may have never come out its self-inflicted sabotage.
The plot is ambitious and no wonder Pandey has sampled some real life events into his story. They work and as far as an unsuspecting viewer is concerned, it all goes well. If you dig deeper, the narrative has nothing substantial to deliver. Yes we talk about killing these mercenaries before they plan another attack. But when every other bad guy dies prematurely, the fun quotient drains. And that is what happens in Baby. It is all so simple yet so difficult.
Denzongpa and Kumar are good, not great. I somehow missed Daggubati; Kumar's actress (from that seemingly sexist Airtel ad) had more screen-space than him. The dialogs are funny and the one thing that really works for the film is the combination of drama and humor that goes hand-in-hand with all those weighty happenings. Even if you start to wonder where the thrills are, the witty dialogs will take care of you. The raw sequences of interrogation and infiltration dictates your attention.
While the photography is good, the cinematography is below average. Direction is the usual Pandey, nothing to talk about. There is some good writing in here (a la A Wednesday!) but otherwise Baby is a slightly exaggerated drama. The namesake stunts are punchy and as the story turns to the climax, you will surely feel a satisfaction that if not in reality, a fictional India is doing something bold and not busy promoting superficial campaigns like Swachch Bharat & Make In India.
BOTTOM LINE: Baby is a tasty dish for our palates, but it ends up being more of a meaty affair than an intellectual thril