While it’s no guarded secret that Salman Khan’s Bodyguard is remake of a South film, what many might not know is that it also liberally borrows its love story from Aamir Khan’s Ghajini and climax from Shah Rukh Khan’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
So you have Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) as the newly-appointed hot-n-happening Bodyguard of Divya (Kareena Kapoor) who follows her everywhere from classroom till bedroom. To divert him from duty, Divya starts flirting with Lovely on phone posing as an anonymous caller. Until she expectedly falls in love with him!
This love story clearly brings back memories of the Ghajini romance track with merely a gender-reversal. Like Aamir Khan who never discloses his true identity to Asin in Ghajini , even Kareena Kapoor refrains from revealing to Salman that she’s her secret caller.
Where does Kuch Kuch Hota Hai come into picture, you ask? Well, while there isn’t any love-triangle as such, there’s an ailing mother on deathbed who writes personalized notes to her son, unveiling the entire narrative in flashback mode. And like the daughter in K2H2 , the son of Bodyguard finds a substitute for mother through his biological mom’s diary.
What still works in the film’s favour is that, unlike most overblown Salman Khan capers, Bodyguard doesn’t go slapstick in humour, loud in attitude or crass in conduct. Salman continues to be a glorified hero who does the customary topless act in the climax but, in the character of Lovely Singh, he is refreshingly restrained and comes across as down-to-earth guy (esp. after his regular recent ostentatious antics).
The story isn’t much innovative but at least it stays true to its theme. Regardless of the title, theme or Salman’s biceps, Bodyguard is more of a love story than an action film. It remains lighthearted for its major runtime until when the villains suddenly surface in the climax. Unlike the Tamil or Malayalam versions, there isn’t much buildup or back-story about the baddies in the Hindi Bodyguard and Salman makes mandatory mincemeat of them in a single action sequence.
Popular South filmmaker Siddique, who already directed the Malayalam and Tamil versions, seems at ease while making the film for the third time. He works more for a surprise element in the climax but it isn’t something that you can’t see coming. And though the climax is predictably clichéd, he doesn’t leave much scope for melodrama. The pacing is quick, music is peppy, action is stylized and editing is crisp. Karishma Kapoor’s dubbing for Kareena’s telephonic conversations seems seamless.
Salman Khan is cool and convincing in the title role. His subdued act and charming innocence wins your heart. Kareena Kapoor is likeable. Hazel Keech as Kareena’s friend is alluring. Rajat Rawail, as the bloated comedian, makes you laugh with his funny T-shirt captions and gibberish lines. The graceful actress of yesteryear, Vidya Sinha, is criminally wasted. The villains from Aditya Pancholi to Mahesh Manjrekar have nothing much to do either – TOI