Verdict: Salman Khan delivers yet another Eid treat to his fans.
Apart from the joy and celebrations that the festival of Eid brings, it also gives us a new Salman Khan movie each year. This year, fans are treated to Bharat, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. When the first look poster of the film released, it showed Salman appearing a little older than his current age, thus intriguing us further. Being an official adaptation of the South Korean film Ode to My Father (2014), it was certain that, like the original, this one was going to take us on an extraordinary man’s journey in the backdrop of the socio-political turmoils of a newly independent country. But does Bharat or Bhai live up to the expectations? Let’s find out!
What’s Bharat About:
During the Partition of 1947, a Hindu family tries to flee from Mirpur in Pakistan to India. While boarding the train, 8-year-old Bharat loses both his father Gautham (Jackie Shroff) and little sister Gudiya in the crowd. Gautham makes Bharat promise that he will take care of his mother and younger siblings all his life. From here on, Bharat does everything to keep the promise made to his father who he hopes to be reunited with one day. Now in his prime, Bharat (Salman Khan) does a lot of menial jobs with his best friend Vilayat (Sunil Grover), in order to take care of his family once they reach New Delhi. But wanting to do more, he joins the Great Russian Circus troupe as a bike stuntsman and is deemed a superstar there. He soon leaves the job as his younger brother gets into an accident trying to perform bike stunts like Bharat.
In 1964 India, unemployment is on the rise and Bharat along with Vilayat are on a hunt for any kind of job. This leads them to the Employment Exchange office where they meet Kumud Raina (Katrina Kaif) who is an Employment Consultant there. Bharat and Vilayat somehow manage to secure employment at an Arab oil field where they work day and night to send money back to their homes. At this oil field too, Bharat is hailed as a hero by all the other migrant workers for saving most of them from a very bad accident.
His next job is at the Merchant Navy, where he encounters pirates. The savior that Bharat’s character has been etched out to be soon swoops in and saves the entire crew and families on the ship.
In 2010, with the help of a big Indian news channel of which Kumud happens to be the creative head, Bharat like the many who were separated from their families in Pakistan and India gets a chance to find out what really happened to his father and sister.
This is an out-and-out Salman Khan movie and that itself comes with a disclaimer – for Salman Fans truly. Bharat is a movie that will absolutely delight any Bhai fan. It has all the elements that you wish for in his movie – action, romance, comedy and more. Ali Abbas Zafar gives us a glimpse into the many eras of Indian history and he does it well. He also takes us through the phase when so many young Indians were going to the Middle East as migrant laborers due to the large-scale unemployment in India. Salman Khan does what he does best – he performs for his fans. Katrina Kaif has a good role in the film starting off as Bharat’s supervisor to being his love interest. She is opinionated and bold and she says what she feels. The actress is super good-looking throughout the younger phase of her character and does a fairly decent job in the older phase too.
However, it is Sunil Grover as Vilayat who does a fantastic job. He stands out in a Salman Khan film and that is really commendable.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Jackie Shroff and Sonali Kulkarni’s character don’t have much scope. Shashank Arora as Bharat’s younger brother has barely three scenes, all of which are unimportant. This seems like a waste of really good talent in the film. Salman Khan’s character has been made to be a superhero of sorts, one who can save anybody no matter what the situation. This unnecessary focus seems like a missed opportunity. Instead, the movie should have been about the nation-building process and the various emotions every Indian went through at that time. The song and dance sequences also do not serve much to the plot in general.
Why You Should Watch:
If you are a die-hard Salman Khan fan, then this is the perfect Eid treat for you. If you are someone looking for an entertainer that will make you whistle and clap at the heroics of a star, then Bharat should be on your watchlist. With a few heart-touching moments, this film keeps up its promise.