Tiger Shroff who has made his name with rubber flexible dance moves and Olympics typical body stretches has stuck to the same formula that launched him on the silver screen with Heropanti. Baaghi however has one thing that is not going for it. Everyone watched Heropanti to check out what the Shroff younger, had to offer and that is the very freshness or novelty per se, that has been lost over the past two years, and now the audience need and pretty well deserve something more. And sadly, they haven’t been offered much in terms of that.
Whenever we see Tiger doing something that involves his hands, legs, torso, head, all moving in perfect sync, scything up, slashing down, revolving on the balls of his feet, we are watching. It’s a treat to watch when he can do what every body builder’s wet dreams are made of.
It’s when he gets to acting that he falters unfortunately. Ronny (Tiger Shroff) shows up at a ‘kalari’ (a Kerala martial arts school which teaches the ancient art of ‘kalaripayattu’) in order to hone his rough edges. The process of transformation– from aimless ‘Baaghi’ to a fighter with a cause– is familiar from many similar films, but there’s enough to keep us engaged through the interactions with a ramrod straight `guru’, who puts the young fellow through his paces.
Post interval, there’s a sharp slide. The action moves from picturesque Kerala to seamy Bangkok, where the film’s borrowings (apparently it is based on an Indonesian actioner, as well as a Telugu film) starts weighing heavily upon it. The bad guy, played by Telugu star Sudheer Babu, is also a martial arts champion, and has an eye on Sia (Shradhha), the girl that Ronny likes. He has an army of goons, all of whom are pointed at Ronny, and let loose.
The good guy clashes with the bad guy over the ‘bubbly’ girl who dances, wetly, in the rain ( she loves ‘baarish’, see?), is saddled with a father who is more joker than responsible dad (played by TV comic Sunil Grover), and a mum and grandma who hover uselessly in the background. A couple of comedians show up and bumble around annoyingly, slowing the pace.
Shraddha Kapoor is slender and pretty and executes both the ‘chham chham’ in the rain as well as some roundhouse kicks and punches well enough, but is fashioned like a Bollywood heroine belonging to the potboilers of the 70s and 80s.
All in all it’s the films first half that accounts for somewhat credibility but nose dives eventually.