Man carrying a little girl on his back

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” showing at AMC Village 18 in Dublin, is still sold out even after a week of its release. This speaks volumes about two things. The first is the power that Salman Khan, the lead male actor, still holds – even after his conviction in the trial courts of India for drinking and driving and killing one person and injuring three others. The second one is its unique message – humanity above all.  
  The film is a story of a mute Pakistani girl played by Harshaali Malhotra. Shaahida, or Munni as she is fondly called by the other characters in the film, gets left behind while visiting a famous religious place in India. She is helped by Pawan Chaturvedi, aka Bajrangi Bhaijaan, played by Salman Khan. The story revolves around the efforts taken by Bhaijaan to reunite Munni safely back with her parents in Pakistan. The various hardships that Bhaijaan faces while taking Munni back to Pakistan and how he finally manages to do it is the film’s plot.
  Chaturvedi is a great devotee of God – in this case in the representation of Hanuman or The Monkey God as he is known in West – and thus he is fondly called Bajrangi Bhaijaan. He is a simpleton from a small town, a failure in everything from academics to sports, so much so that when he finally manages to graduate from his school his father dies out of sheer shock. He is honest, kind, compassionate and a highly ethical man. However, a thought to ponder upon is why V. Vijayendra Prasad, the writer, thought it was necessary that a kind, generous and extremely honest man has to be a simpleton and failure at everything else. As cynical as it might sound, this view is a sad representation of the human mindset. It’s also a stereotype that the producers Salman Khan and Kabir Khan, along with the writers, have unfortunately embraced.
  I thought the film was very slow and a faster pace would have done wonders for the story line. I actually remember feeling restless a few times wondering when things would move on. Thanks to Aseem Mishra and his wonderful cinematography, the slow pace was somewhat bearable. The direction by Kabir Khan was flawless. But then again I expected that from him. After all he is the same man who has given us films like “Kabul Express” and “New York.”
  As far as the performances in the movie go, each one of them has done a superb job. Salman Khan was a breath of fresh air. He is completely different in this movie and quite natural. Kareena Kapoor Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, provide strong support and are flawless in every shot. Harshaali Malhotra is a girl to reckon with. At such young age and using only her eyes, she emotes and communicates beautifully. It was surely a treat to see her and Salman together and the chemistry between them.
  But above all what stands out is the message the movie obviously wants to spread. Without getting preachy or melodramatic, the movie effortlessly delivers one message, and that is humanity above all.  
  We as humans, I believe, have a penchant to make our lives unnecessarily complicated. In the zest to always feel holier than thou, we have long committed atrocities beyond imagination. Be it under the premise of religion, international security, race or as simple as plain ego and greed, we have mauled, brutalized, exploited, killed and damaged not only our fellow mankind but also Mother Earth. Anger, frustration, dissatisfaction, hurt and depression are on rise without us knowing or understanding how to mitigate or resolve core issues causing it all. At the risk of sounding like a simpleton or naive, I truly believe that life can get simple and easy if we all truly abide by the simple truth of love and humanity.  Sages and wise masters for long have espoused this simple truth. It is truly okay for all of us to come together and make life work in a glorious and harmonious way. And for this reason alone the world needs many more Bajrangi Bhaijaans, not only on the reels of movies, but in real life.      

I give this movie 3 stars.