Rating : 2/5
Genre : Drama
Year : 2019
Running time : 2 hours 35 minutes
Director : Abbas ali Zafar
Cast : Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Grover, Disha Patani, Tabu, Jackie Shroff, Sonali Kulkarni
Kid rating : G
Bharat has a lofty tagline – journey of a man & a nation together – but do not be misled 🙂 . I’d set a low bar for this film and it surpassed my low expectations, but not my much.
The film is Bharat’s life story, told in flashback. Now an old man and a grandfather, Bharat still grapples with well-muscled thugs and reminisces about his tumultuous life. As an 8-year-old, he travels from Pakistan to India during Partition, losing track of his sister and father along the way, His remaining family manage to safely make their way to the home of his bua (father’s sister). There they settle and Bharat strives to make good the promise made to his father before they are separated – a promise to keep his family together.
Bharat’s story is based on the Korean film “Ode to my father”. It’s kinda Forest-Gumpish, where the protagonist progresses through life’s many challenges. Initially I had no idea that this was a Korean-film-spinoff, and as the film progressed and you were able to discern a pattern I was surprised that director Zafar had managed to cobble together this rather high-brow angle; he directed Sultan, which was decidedly earthy.
While the concept is good, it is well beyond the directorial prowess of Zafar, hence the poor execution. The film has been Bollywood-ized to add in nonsensical melodrama, and the logic is questionable (like I never got why Bharat couldn’t get married). The costumes and the language don’t quite fit with the era so that takes away from the “authenticity” feel.
Each event is portrayed in great detail – which would have been fine if it was a nuanced portrayal. However with Zafar’s relatively ham-handed approach, realism is out the window, Bharat becomes this all-in-one, can-do, always right, Bollywoodian superhero – very far from the everyman that he should have been, and I can’t really feel for his larger-than-life persona.
Salman as Bharat is like Salman in any other movie. Katrina who plays his love interest, Kumud, has been de-glamorized with curly, unkempt hair and glasses and does a decent job, although her dialog delivery needs work – it is so monotonous. Sunil Grover is Vilayati, Bharat’s life-long friend and sidekick. Disha Patani – whom you might remember from M.S.Dhoni – is statuesque and impressive when she is dancing, not so impressive when she is not. Also, she has very little impact on the story, so not much to work with. Everyone else – Tabu et. al. has bit roles.
The music is so-so. And the movie is long – could have been easily shortened by an hour. Bharat overall, is a little weaker than average; temper expectations accordingly if you go see this one.
Kidwise: Clean. Imbued with sexist stereotypes (but then what’s new?)