Prime Edition

An extended advertisement for Being Salman Khan

26th Jul 2014


Director: Sajid Nadiadwala

Starring: Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

I've always wondered about Salman Khan. His career graph defies, even mocks, logic. Here's an actor playing one absolutely idiotic character after another in every movie he's been a part of in at least the last decade, and while those with emotional distance remain confused, Bhai-diehards look like they're going to choke on their own high-pitched whistles every time. Acting? Pfft...please, that's for commoners. All Bhai needs to do is show up. This is so mindblowing to me, in fact, that I'm actually in awe of this guy. No one else gets away with the kind of wild nonsense that Salman Khan does. And he must know this, because he's stopped even pretending like he's going to put any effort into his movies.

I don't know about it being a formula for success, but it's definitely a repeat pattern: Bhai maaros entry, first rows in every theatre start hooting and clapping. Bhai meets hot girl, fans start shrieking. Bhai gets into a fight, takes off his shirt, there's actual danger to the physical structure of whichever theatre you're at.

"Main dil mein aata hoon, samajh mein nahin." Spouting this dialogue all too smugly in Sajid Nadiadwala's Kick, Khan takes it upon himself to explain things to those who may be wondering. As for the actual movie, it's a remake of a Telugu film of the same name. It's supposed to be about Devi Lal Singh (aka Devil) an adrenaline junkie who gets his kicks in life by "living on the edge". He falls in love with Shaina (Jaqueline Fernandes) who is quite possibly the worst psychiatrist in the world. By the second half of the film, however, she's all set to marry top-cop Himanshu Tyagi (what are you doing here, Randeep Hooda?), who's the Dr House of the police force — he never loses a case (or forgets a face, if we're quoting full dialogues). He's currently after this mega-thief who's stolen over Rs 700 crore and calls himself Devil (Bhai). He knows nothing else about him because...well, the script says so. Also, he doesn't know what he looks like because Devil wears the kind of amazing mask that people insist on wearing even though you can tell exactly who they are through it, but Top Cop is too distracted to think straight — this is all being shot in Poland, there's only so much he can pay attention to. They play chor-police for a while, and just when you think a happy ending's coming, they hit pause so they can slip in some deep and meaningful bits about what a good guy Devi Lal is. But basically, this is all one giant advertisement for what a good guy Salman Khan is. "Jail jaata hai, but dil ka bahut achha hai. Logon ko maarta hai, but dil ka bahut achha hai." This is a dialogue from the movie, directed at Devi Lal, but it could just as well be real life, and being directed at Khan himself.

Meanwhile, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who plays a slightly deranged person in the film, seems to have arrived on set, looked at everything and everyone around him, started laughing maniacally on realising that this is a real movie, and decided to play along because what the hell. The supporting cast also consists of Mithun-da, Saurabh Shukla, that guy from the Sprite ad, that girl from Comedy Nights With Kapil, and that dadi from the "do chamachh dal" Fortune Oil ad — and not one of them looks like they know why they're there. Nargis Fakri pops in for what should have been a quick item number, but looks more like an unfortunate exorcism instead.

To put things in perspective, Kick is the culmination of the efforts of Sajid Nadiadwala, Chetan Bhagat and Salman Khan. All three are glaring examples of everything that is wrong with this country's judgement. Together, they form a grand trifecta of pranksters who don't care what you think because you're not the one with Rs 100 crore in your bank account this week.

The bottomline is that this review is redundant. Fans of the hero don't discriminate — they will watch anything with Bhai in it (including Bigg Boss); the rest should just be grateful that getting tickets to The Grand Budapest Hotel is going to be that much easier this weekend.

-Ravina Rawal

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