Rating: 5/10 (Anything for Family)
Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Disha Patani, Jackie Shroff, Sunil Grover, Satish Kaushik, Nora Fatehi and others
Screenplay-Direction: Ali Abbas Zafar
Story: Based on Ode to my Father (2014 Korean Film)
Producers: Atul Agnihotri, Salman Khan, Alvira Khan Agnihotri, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Nikhil Namit
Banners: Reel Life Productions, Salman Khan Films and T-Series
After a horrendous outing in arguably the worst film of 2018, Salman Khan is back with his latest Eid release, Bharat. An adaptation of the South Korean film Ode To My Father, the film has Katrina Kaif and Disha Patani as the female leads. Directed by Sultan fame Ali Abbas Zafar, can he deliver a hatrick of blockbusters with Salman? Let's find out in this week's review
Plot: The film tells the journey of Bharat (Salman Khan) from the ages of 18 to 70, and all the important phases in his life and the various circumstances he faces to keep his family together because of a promise he made to his father (Jackie Shroff) when he was young. What happens in Bharat's life forms the rest of the story.
Performances: As expected, Bharat is all about Salman Khan. He gets to play a character that has a lot of different looks but on the acting front, there's nothing to really take home. His classic comic timing, charm, and screen presence are in full effect and he gives an honest performance as usual and is impressive in the emotional scenes.
Katrina Kaif has really improved since Zero and delivers another outstanding performance in Bharat. The chemistry between her and Salman make up the film's lighter and more enjoyable moments. She looks beautiful throughout but the makeup department should be questioned at times for her look as it's inconsistent throughout the film.
In her biggest film yet, Disha Patani sets the screens on fire for her role which is merely a cameo lasting no more than 10 minutes. She does well in what's she's given.
Sunil Grover as the sidekick doesn't have the charm of Anant Sharma from Sultan but he entertains as Bharat's friend Vilayati.
Satish Kaushik gets a hilarious role where he just speaks gibberish as the boat captain. Lastly, Jackie Shroff is adequate as Bharat's father.
Direction: This is Ali Abbas Zafar's third film with Salman after Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai. While the former was a sensational emotional blockbuster, the latter was a full on action thriller and both were well made despite the length. Here, he has chosen to adapt a Korean film in Ode to my father and the basic concept is good of a child keeping the promise he made to his father and his dad being the constant driving force in his life. But besides the character of Bharat, there's really nothing to take home in the film. It starts off with a highly emotional flashback during the Partition and Zafar touches upon the theme of humanity early. But the entire film fails to follow up on that theme and it goes around doing other things. In the end, one feels that the film lacks any soul or purpose as the 2nd half is literally pointless despite the good 1st half and buildup. To be brutally honest, Bharat is a very weak film from Ali Abbas Zafar and because he knows how to use Salman Khan's strengths to his advantage, Bhai essentially saves Zafar from any embarrassment. But the film is poorly written and quite weak and one wonders why he chose the adaptation in the end. Bharat could have easily been an original film but the only thing that works in the film is the protagonist. The female leads are pretty much just there for filler and the songs don't play that much of an important role in the film other than further extending the 2nd half. Simply put, Bharat doesn't have enough content to engage the audience for the entire runtime and a 2nd half full of illogical sequences spoil what could have been another blockbuster for Salman Khan. The film ends up being average but he somehow manages to get Salman to carry the film despite a weak script.
Technicalities: Music by Vishal-Shekar is catchy. All the songs are a treat to watch on screen. Background Score by Julius Packam is good. Cinematography by Marcin Laskawiec is adequate. There are some nice visuals here and there but not upto the standards and grandeur we expect with a Salman Khan film. Editing by Rameshwar S. Bhagat could have been better. Even at 155 minutes, Bharat still feels infinitely long. A good 15-20 minutes could have easily been trimmed. Dialogues by Varun V. Sharma are ok. Styling deserves a mention as Salman, Katrina, and Disha look beautiful throughout the film. Action Sequences are ok. Production Design is nice for the Lahore set during the Partition era. Production Values are adequate. There's really nothing in the film that will make you say wow or oh like in previous Salman Khan films.
+ Salman Khan
+ Katrina Kaif
+ 1st half
- 2nd half
- Pace at times
Final Take and Analysis: After Race 3 which I can proudly say I didn't have the pleasure of watching, Salman Khan offers the audience Bharat. There are certain elements that we expect in a Bhai film like punch dialogues, heroism and the mandatory shirtless scene. Bharat only features the latter and it becomes quite evident that this is not going to be your typical Salman movie. Despite this, Bharat still feels underwhelming.
Director Ali Abbas Zafar introduced Bharat in the opening scene as a 70 year old and it's quite hard to an old Salman and Katrina is that type of makeup. Through flashbacks, we are shown Bharat's life and the beginning flashback with Jackie Shroff is highly emotional and Zafar sets up the graph nicely talking about humanity and religion and how we should live together peacefully despite those invisible barriers. The 1st half of the film is fine and features Zafar's trademark flashback comedy like in Sultan. The interval bang works.
The real problems start in the 2nd half. It's hugely disappointing. The main problem starts when the boat lands in Malta and Salman's friend falls for a Maltan dancer played by Nora Fatehi. From this sequence on all the way to the end, the film tests your patience for the rest of the film.
There is one very illogical scene featuring African pirates who raid the ship but then Salman tells them about Shah Rukh Khan and AMitabh Bachchan and the pirates start dancing with Salman and don't raid the ship and give all the money they looted back and drive away waving their hands. I mean if this isn't absurd, then I don't know what is.
There's another sequence where a reality show is established by Katrina to find the lost family members who got separated during the Partition. It seems like a good idea and works at first but this entire thing lasts for a good 30-35 mins again. Salman eventually finds who he's looking for and this is really the only scene that works in the 2nd half.
The climax is dragged and the entire 2nd half just ends up feeling like an unnecessary chore that you have to complete.
Overall, Bharat is a film about doing what it takes for family. Despite Salman and Katrina's performances, Bharat suffers from a weak 2nd half and at times illogical sequences that ruin the viewing experience making it an average film at best. People who have a connection to the Partition Era will most likely connect to it. But if you're expecting it to be a pure commercial entertainer from Bhai, you will be disappointed, Watch it only if you're a die hard fan of Salman Khan.