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

Sonam Kapoor snubs Neil, leaves him red-faced

Actress refuses to dance to his tunes for a song sequence in Abbas-Mustan's 'Players'

Neil Nitin Mukesh is apparently not a very popular figure on the sets of Abbas-Mustan's Players.

Playing the villain, he gets to perform daring stunts and mouth the best lines. The rest of the cast only discovered this as the shooting progressed.

What's worse, the actor is bursting with inputs on scenes or song sequences, annoying several of the other actors in the movie.

However, while the rest of the cast is apparently taking Neil's 'friendly advice' with a smile, Sonam Kapoor has decided not to entertain him.

For a song-and-dance sequence, Neil (who prides himself on being a singer, composer and choreographer) started supervising the choreographer.

"Neil meant no harm. He likes to make his presence felt on the sets. 

But when he advised Sonam on how to do her steps, she told him to keep his advice to himself, " says a source.

Giving the cold-shoulder

Red-faced, the actor apparently withdrew from the scene and kept quiet thereafter. Neil, as expected, laughs off the story. "Sonam is a darling.

I don't need to show dance moves to a person who is a genius at it. In fact, I learnt a few extra dance steps from her, " he says.

Our source from the cast, however, insists otherwise. "He did try to suggest dance steps to Sonam, and she didn't like it.

She made it clear to Neil that she didn't appreciate his unsolicited assistance. Poor Neil. He just likes to be more than just an actor while shooting."


No adult content please! - Kalki's film gets banned in Middle East

Anurag Kashyap and Kalki's film will not release across the Middle East due to its adult content

If it's an Anurag Kashyap film, you can easily expect a roadblock to follow!

His latest project with actress wife Kalki may have garnered strong reactions from film festivals across the globe, but looks like That Girl In Yellow Boots will not be stepping foot in Dubai or any other Middle-Eastern nation anytime soon.

The film, which was denied permission to be screened at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) last year, has still not managed to get the go-ahead to release within the Middle East due to its adult content.


Confirms Anurag, "When TGIYB was doing the round of festivals last year, we were not allowed to screen it for the festival panel at DIFF because of the subject matter.

I guess some countries are pretty conservative when it comes to art and cinema."

The film revolves around a young girl Ruth who comes to the city in search of her father, but is soon faced with moralistic questions when she takes up a job as a masseuse to make ends meet.

The content of the film has been debated upon at length, and the makers themselves have not denied that the film is their boldest attempt to date. But this is the first time there has been an actual ban on the screening the film. 

"TGIYB is for a mature audience. I don't know who in the middle-east decides whether the viewers are mature enough to watch the film or not, but I guess it's a moralistic stand, " adds Anurag.

Interestingly, the film was given an A certificate and passed by the Censor Board in India without much hassle.

The producers, therefore, are not losing hope in this case either. Says Anurag, "We have sent it for screening to a distributor in Dubai. Hopefully, things will work out."

The film releases worldwide this Friday.

Across the festive globe...

That Girl In Yellow Boots opened at the Venice film festival in 2010

It was screened at the Toronto film festival in 2010

It premiered in USA last week


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