Subhash K Jha reviews Bodyguard - a very strange entertainer

Bodyguard is a very strange entertainer. And I say “entertainer” because I’ve no choice. Salman Khan is a certified entertainer and his Eid releases are meant to be full-on entertainers. No questions asked. No answers given

Bodyguard nonetheless leaves us in astate of paralyzed perplexity. It espouses a kind of primitive allegiance to the cult of master-slave affinity whereby a bodyguard is ready to lay down his life for his lord and master.

As Lovely Singh Salman brings a lot of fun into to his part. That he plays the part of the uniformed macho-man with irony is a blessing in a film where the script and direction reek of over-elaboration and exaggerated self-worth.

The screenplay by the director himself favours the action genre but also seems to love the T Rama Rao-Dasari Narayan Rao-K Bappaiah type of Southern potboilers from the 1980s where two women become embroiled in an emotional bottleneck with the same man.

Kareena Kapoor, trying to breathe life into an unconvincing and inherently-undefined character, moves constantly in the company of a strange-looking female companion who could easily pass off as a chorus dancer in Broadway musical based on ETs.

Would it be a spoiler to reveal that Ms ET finally walks away with our ‘Lovely’ Bodyguard Mr Salman Khan leaving her best friend trapped in a crumbling haveli like a newly-reincarnated version of Sharmila Tagore in Gulzar’s Namkeen Like Sharmila Kareena will finally be rescued from her ancestral dereliction by the he-man hero and some intervention from precocious bespectacled little boy who turns out to be Bodyguard’s over-smart beta. 
But before that there are assorted villains (Mahesh Manjrekar, Aditya Pancholi, Chetan Hansraj) putting up a brave fight. Alas, the action drama crumbles under the weight of a trite and corny plot.

How, when, why? Don’t ask! Just go with the flow of volcanic nonsense that begins with Kareena being “bodyguarded” by Salman in her college and ends with Salman falling in love with a voice on a phone that speaks to him in Karisma Kapoor’s voice.

Interestingly when Kareena masquerades as a mysterious caller on the phone she speaks in her star-sister Karisma’s voice. Cute and cocky touch, that. Just like Salman’s performance. He is pokerfaced and powerful even when bowing humbly to his employer, Raj Babbar who looks like a Zamindar who lost the plot.

The film has absolutely nothing to keep us from thinking that the adaptation was done with any amount of cultural astutesness. The sentiments remain sloppily regional. The dialogues border on the infantile. The music (by Himesh Reshammiya) is an over-digitalized monstrosity.

All in all, Bodyguard makes you run for cover