The promo pretty much set the premise. Baaghi was meant to be a film that had action in abundance with the vintage drama element of a couple in love and a villain coming in between to spoil the party. In that context, Baaghi is as formulaic a film as one can expect, something that sticks to the 80s formula. Oh yes, a heart warming narrative that actually manages to touch you emotionally may have also helped. Also, the love story element could have been stronger. However, given the fact that the film relies primarily on action, it delivers in that aspect.
Where the film scores immensely is its fast pace. Director Sabbir Khan makes sure that he gets the three most important ticks right – the start, interval point and then the climax. As a matter of fact, you are pretty much caught by surprise with the manner in which the film begins. It is a racy beginning indeed with Shraddha’s kidnapping that takes place, the villain (Sudheer Babu) is introduced on the scene and the hero (Tiger Shroff) marks his entry. It is established quite quickly that the trio has a past and you indeed fasten your seat belts when the film goes into a flashback.
With high expectations, one expects the sequences set in the past to be enticing. It is a mixed narrative though since though Tiger has a smashing entry to his name, Shraddha gets into a mode that Manisha Koirala used to do quite often in her 90s films. She tries to be cute, funny and chirpy and while she plays to the gallery, how one wishes she had more to munch on. Tiger won’t have much to complain though on that aspect as he sees Baaghi focused on him in practically every sequence which means he indeed gets a good follow up to Heropanti.
Thankfully, Sabbir ensures that it isn’t just Tiger’s herogiri that is the center of attraction. The villain indeed has a meaty role to enjoy and Sudheer Babu comes trumps, both in the action as well as the screen presence department. You don’t hate him but then you do want him to make way before his Raavan act disturbs the bliss of this modern day Ram and Seeta. This is what leads to around four major action sequences that keep you all glued to the seats, especially at the interval and then the 20 minute long climax.
Talking of the climax, though there have been talks of it being inspired by The Raid Redemption, it stays as, well, just an inspiration. While that Indonesian film was bloody to the core, had action playing for around an hour and was a gore fest, this one keeps it short and crisp at 20 minutes and minus the gore. As a matter of fact you do wish that the action was a little more extended, but the moment a Khel (Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty) style bones-breaking-in-X-ray-visuals comes in, the film comes to an end. While this is a tad abrupt, how one also wishes that not just was there a scene or two additional after the climax, the song ‘Let’s Talk About Love Baby’ also was there in the film.
That said, you do not miss any of that tremendously during the film since Sabbir keeps the film’s pace so fast and strong. He doesn’t let the film slack at all and though the presence of Sudhir Mishra in the film’s second half is rather needless, that is forgotten considering the fact that Sunil Grover keeps the laughs coming in the first half. As for the seetis and taalis, there are a few reserved for Tiger, especially in the second half when he goes on a rampage.
For producer Sajid Nadiadwala though, it could well be time to score at the Box Office all over again since the film scores as a popcorn affair that is crunchy enough to be savored while it lasts.