After PK, we all hoped for a shift towards good content oriented films and the combination of Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar had already raised hopes (after their previous outing in ‘Special 26’) in delivering yet another gripping film. The theatrical trailer of ‘Baby’ had created the much needed buzz in promising a sleek action thriller film. Unlike most films featuring a superstar in the lead, Baby wasn’t marketed aggressively as the makers were super-confident of the product and always believed that the content will speak for itself. Does ‘Baby’ live upto those expectations? Read the review to find out!
Story: The country is constantly under attack by terrorists, and while we always see the forces battling the terrorists during the attacks, a newly-formed elite team decide to tackle the terrorists when the attacks are being masterminded!
Akshay Kumar (Ajay Singh Rajput) is an officer who is a part of an elite team chosen by Danny Denzongpa from amongst the best in the forces to form a confidential Counter Intelligence Unit. In the course of foiling one terrorist attack bid, Ajay discovers a major threat to the nation – a plan to cause damage and strike fear at the heart of our very existence. The plot is masterminded by a maniacal leader Rashid Naz (Maulana Mohammed Rehman) whose organization has its tentacles spread across the world. As days progress, the unit goes through constant leads and challenges to pin down the main mastermind.
Since the movie is an Indian espionage action thriller film, there is always a risk of one weak scene or one dull moment ruining the pace and mood of the film. However, the script and every scene in ‘Baby’ is so well crafted that it leaves you speechless. Ajay’s (Akshay) interrogation sequence with Jameel Khan (Taufeeq) where he clearly explains the difference between religion and nationality will be greeted with whistles and claps. The last 35-40 mins of the film where Ajay is helped in his mission with Om Prakash Shukla and Jai Singh Rathore is without doubt the best climax scene in recent times.
Baby Review: Performances and Character Analysis
Baby is one of those rare films where even characters that have just one scene have managed to stand out. Akshay Kumar as Ajay delivers the performance of his life. From his dialogue delivery to his body language while handling the emotional sequences with his family, Akshay lives the character of Ajay. It’s his tribute to the many unsung heroes of the country who have sacrificed their lives on their undercover missions.
Anupam Kher as Om Prakash Shukla appears towards the last 40 mins of the film, instantly bringing a smile to your face. A shift from the serious roles he plays, watch him when he refuses to leave the gang behind. Tapsee Pannu plays Priya Suryavanshi, an outstanding shift from her character in Chashme Badoor, watch her in the sequence when she fights Javed (Sushant). Not one frame in the entire fight will look exaggerated. Rasheed Naz (Maulana Rahman) is the find of the film. His character, his look and his speech will establish the fact that there could be no better villain for Baby. Towards the end of the film, as an audience, you begin to hate him so much that you actually applaud when he is pinned down. Hallmark of a great movie.
Kay Kay Menon (Bilal Khan) may have less screen time but his performance reinstates the fact that great performances are all about quality and not the length of a role. Danny Denzongpa is cast to perfection and delivers a mature performance. Watch him in the scene where he explains to the minister that we do not do enough for those who sacrifice their lives for the country.
Madhurima Tuli as Ajay’s wife and Mikaal Zulfiqar are good too.
Baby Review: Technical Aspects and Background Score
Baby is definitely one of the best shot and visually appealing films in recent times. The film is shot across Kathmandu, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Delhi and Mumbai. Across every location the cinematography is beautiful and every sequence is captured with such grandeur and scale that it enlightens the experience of watching a high adrenaline film. Special Mention to the DOP (Director of Photography) Sudeep Chatterjee. This is probably the first Indian film where an Octocopter Drone (like helicopter cameras) is used to capture aerial shots. Also, a lot of scenes have been shot on live locations like busy streets to keep the authenticity of the script intact.
The background score by Sanjoy Chowdhuary is perfectly in sync with the mood of the film. Editing by Shree Narayan Singh is crisp and the length of the film is optimum.
Overall, Baby will not only be one of the best films of the year but will also be remembered as one of Akshay Kumar’s finest works. If Rajkumar Hirani is the king of slice-of-life feel good films, then it would be safe to say Neeraj Pandey is the king of the thriller- drama genre. Absolute must watch!