Contemporary action romance
2011, colour, 2.35:1, 131 mins (I: 62 mins; II: 69 mins)
Directed by Siddique
By Derek Elley
Sat, 17 September 2011, 18:42 PM (HKT)
Salman Khan again delivers the goods in a slick, traditional masala movie. Asian events.
Jaysingpur, Maharashtra, northern India, the present day. Local bigwig Sartaj Rana (Raj Babbar) is entreated by a local mother to save her daughter, who's been kidnapped along with other women by the gangster Batra (Chetan Hansraj) and is being shipped to Thailand. Rana calls his old friend Bindra (Sharat Saxena), head of Tiger Security, for help. Bindra assigns his invincible security specialist Lovely Singh (Salman Khan), who rescues all 40 women from the container shipment. Lovely is then assigned to a job for Rana himself — to be a bodyguard to his daughter Divya (Kareena Kapoor), whose life is under threat from the gangster Ranjan Mhatre (Mahesh Manjrekar). Lovely's father, Balwant, once worked as Rana's bodyguard but was killed on duty; however, Lovely feels he owes Rana an eternal debt as the latter saved the life of his mother in the same incident. En route to Rana's home, Lovely is mistaken for an assassin by one of Rana's employees, Tsunami Singh (Rajat Rawail), but the confusion is settled once Lovely arrives. Rana tells Lovely to accompany Divya at all times when she's away at a management college in Pune, but Lovely's dedication to his job gets on Divya's nerves. To distract him, she invents the phone alias of Chhaya, who professes she's fallen for Lovely — and Lovely, in turn, falls for her voice, completely unaware that it belongs to Divya. Gradually, however, Divya herself starts falling for Lovely, and Divya's best friend, Maya (Hazel Keech), tells her it's time to end the charade and tell Lovely the truth. Meanwhile, Rana's enemies are determined to kill Dinya, and also get their revenge on Lovely for foiling their earlier kidnapping operation.
After Wanted (2009) (dir. Prabhu DEVA) and Dabangg दबंग (2010) (dir. Abhinav SINGH KASHYAP), Bollywood comeback king Salman KHAN makes it three Eid mega-hits in a row with Bodyguard बॉडीगार्ड (2011), a high-sheen masala movie with Khan catering to his traditional fan base with action, splashy musical numbers, plenty of visual effects — and this time some welcome humour directed against his own character. Like Wanted, it's a Hindi remake of a South Indian film with the original director imported — in this case, veteran comedy director Siddique, who'd already shot his script in Malayalam (2010) and Tamil (2011) versions. Typically for a Bollywood remake, it's harder-edged and glossier than the southern versions, with more action and less time wandering around on character development. (One element of the earlier versions — the main character's admiration of heroic types — has almost completely disappeared from this re-working.) But at just over two hours it's tightly packaged entertainment that more than gets by on sheer technique.
As a beefy super-bodyguard with the girly name Lovely Singh, Khan is very good at both the cartoony action (lots of slow motion, fast forwards and freeze frames) and sending up his own super-hero. Kareena KAPOOR — one of the few actresses who can physically hold her own against Bollywood leading men — is equally good as spoiled rich girl Divya who plays a love trick on him. The main surprise is that the film, which starts out as a fairly routine action movie, turns out to be a love story at heart, and both stars prove quite effective, within genre limits, of making the switch, with Khan especially good as the ingenuous, single-minded bodyguard. With much more action than the earlier versions, and most of the plot crammed into the second half, Bodyguard seems a bit lopsided. But the multiple twists and cliff-hangers during the final half-hour are terrifically mounted, and show that the traditional masala formulae can still emotionally carry the day.
In a best-friend role that could have done with more backgrounding, Anglo-Indian actress-dancer Hazel KEECH (aka Rose Dawn) makes a good contrast with Kapoor's glamour-queen Divya. Local-comedy elements provided by newcomer Rajat RAWAIL, as a tubby idiot, aren't allowed to unbalance the movie. Rest of the cast is largely male, with veteran Raj BABBAR solid as Lovely's employer, and Chetan HANSRAJ, Aditya PANCHOLI and Mahesh MANJREKAR suitably snarly or buff as the villains. The four musical numbers are splashily mounted though not especially memorable on a musical level.
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Theatrical release: India, 31 Aug 2011.
Presented by Reliance Entertainment (IN). Produced by Reel Life Production (IN). Executive producer: Nikhil Namit. Producers: Alvira Agnihotri, Atul Agnihotri.
Script: Siddique, J.P. Chowksey, Kiran Kotrial. Additional dialogue: Aloke Upadhyaya. Original story: Siddique. Photography: Sejal Shah. Editing: Sanjay Sankla. Background music: Sandeep Shirodkar. Song music: Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam. Lyrics: Shabbir Ahmed, Neelesh Misra. Choreography: Ganesh Acharya, Vaibhavi Merchant, Vishnudeva. Art director: Shailesh Mahadik, Monica Angelica Bhowmick. Costume design: Alvira Agnihotri, Ashley Rebello, Manish Malhotra. Action: Vijayan Master. Sound: Arvind Rathod. Visual effects: Vensat Tech Services, Pixion. Co-director: Nirupama Menon.
Cast: Salman Khan (Lovely Singh), Kareena Kapoor (Divya Rana), Raj Babbar (Sartaj Rana), Asrani (Shekhar), Vidya Sinha (Divya's mother), Hazel Keech (Maya, Divya's best friend), Chetan Hansraj (Batra), Mohan Kapoor (professor), Rajat Rawail (Tsunami Singh), Katrina Kaif (herself, in disco number), Aditya Pancholi (Vikrant), Mahesh Manjrekar (Ranjan Mhatre), Sharat Saxena (Bindra, Lovely's boss), Reema Debnath (Savita), Shashi Kiran (Ajay Mama).
Directed by Siddique
2010, colour, 2.35:1, 165 mins
Theatrical release: India, 22 Jan 2010
Produced by Johny Sagariga Cinema Square. Producer: Johny Sagariga.
Script: Siddique. Original story: Siddique. Photography: S. Kumar. Editing: K.R. Gowri Shankar. Music: Ouseppachan. Lyrics: Kaithapram, Anil Panachooran.
Cast: Dileep (Jayakrishnan [= Lovely Singh]), Nayanthara (Ammu Ashokan [= Divya]), Mithra Kurian (Sethulakshmi [= Maya]), Thyagarajan (Ashokan [= Raj Babbar]), Zeenath (Mani Chechi, Ashokettan's wife), Haishree Ashokan (Neelambaran), Undapakru (Kudamaloor Balaji, college friend), Cochin Haneefa (college principal), Janardhanan (Karyasthan; Sethulakshmi's father), Nandu (Ramankutty Master), Seema G. Nair (Meenu Teacher), Krishna Kumar, Anil Murali, Pratheesh Nandakumar, Balachandran Chullikad, Appa Haja.
Kaavalan: The Bodyguard
Directed by Siddique.
2011, colour, 2.35:1, 152 mins
Theatrical release: India, 15 Jan 2011
Produced by Ekaveera Creations. Producer: C. Romesh Babu.
Script: Siddique, Guruvaran. Original story: Siddique. Photography: N.K. Ekambaram. Editing: K.R. Gowri Shankar. Music: Vidyasagar. Art direction: Mani Suchithra. Sound: A.S. Lakshmi Narayanan. Action: Stun Siva.
Cast: Vijay (Bhoominathan [= Lovely Singh]), Asin Thottumkal (Meera Muthuramalingam [= Divya]), Rajkiran (Semmanur Muthuramalingam [= Raj Babbar]), Mithra Kurian (Maadhu [= Maya]), Roja Selvamani (Devika Muthuramalingam, Semmanur's wife), Vadivelu (Ammavasai [= Tsunami Singh]), Livingston (college principal), Mahadevan (Devarajan), Krishna Kumar (Karthik Muthuramalingam), Neepa (Poongodi), Nizhalgal Ravi (Parthasarathy, Bhoominathan's father), Yuvashree (Bhoominathan's mother), M.S. Bhaskar (Maadhu's father), Guinnes Pakru (Meera's classmate), Madhan Bob (college lecturer), Sharmilee (hostel warden), Pithamagan Mahadevan.
Ganga: The Bodyguard
Directed by Gopichand Malineni
2011, colour, 2.35:1
Theatrical release: India, 21 Oct 2011
Produced by Sri Sai Ganesh Productions (IN). Producer: Bellamkonda Suresh.
Script: Kona Venkat. Original story: Siddique. Music: S.S. Taman. Lyrics: Bhaskarabatta Ravikumar, Ramajogayya Sastry. Action: Ram-Laxman.
Cast: Venkatesh, Trisha Krishnan, Prakash Raj, Dr. Brahmanandam, Ali, Venu Madhav, Chandra Mohan, Tanikella Bharani, Subbaraju.