Baaghi 3  Review- an over-exaggeration of action and annihilation of the nitty-gritty
After watching “Baaghi 3” I was flabbergasted and confused about this thing being called a film. I wondered how I would be able to write about 600 words on this monstrosity without it seeming like a rant. A tough ask for this may seem like a rant.
Ideally, I would use the line, “the critic was too ashamed to file a copy.” I doubt my editor would let me publish a review with just a single line as that would not rank high on search engines (I’m looking at you google). Which means I need to expand on a small idea just like director Ahmed Khan did.
The idea of this 2 hours 26 minutes thing that masquerades as a film is to have Tiger Shroff beat people up. What joins this film together are numerous scenes that lead to him getting to pummel people. Pummeling people is one thing if it’s done believably. But here Tiger Shroff engages in cartoonish tactics involving a light. Baaghi 3 is a remake of a Tamil film ‘Vettai‘, but the only thing borrowed from there is the angle of the promise and the brothers helping and relying on each other.
Related to Baaghi 3 – Guns Akimbo  Review: A frantically shot lowbrow dark comedy about rampant gamer culture
Baaghi 3 decides to promote other films in its dialogues. In doing so, it messes up with the timeline. Considering that it is a Tiger Shroff highlight reel, they wouldn’t be bothered about minor stuff like that.
He is the Expendables, the Avengers, the Justice League, John Matrix, Rambo all rolled into one. He needs to look stronger than Bruce Lee whilst doing so. Shroff can hit the enemy so hard that as the man flies through the air after a punch the velocity causes dust resting on the floor to fly as well. The men even cartwheel through the air, fly and knock down other men like bowling pins.
Remember that incredible fight scene in Enter the Dragon? I don’t think any of Han’s goons flew through the air or cartwheeled after being kicked. The same cannot be said of anyone in that scene in Commando where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s John Matrix goes on a rampage on the island. These were highly unlikely but grounded unlike Baaghi 3 where Shroff seems like an undiscovered meta human or mutant.
One of the lazy, conveniently manufactured fight scenes got me thinking of Carl Douglas’ song Kung fu fighting. The lyrics that came to mind were, ” that man was fast as lightning.” So Ahmed Khan decided to show us that Ronnie is The Flash as well. What else explains the plethora of slow-motion walks, runs, fights sequences poses when Disha Patani is dancing in a completely unnecessary dance scene. Well, it is necessary as those few minutes were a little respite from the sound of fights which are always edited at really high volumes by sound departments in Bollywood. We get it – Someone hit someone.
Baaghi 3 for me was a PR effort to promote bodybuilding, Tiger Shroff and the idea that superhero battles destroying cities are not far fetched. Avengers who? One man can demolish anything. He is portrayed as a God in this film. There is a dialogue calling for “uparwala” and we cut to a shot of Tiger’s face. That explains how he is so strong, plus the chiseled body does get one thinking of the Greek Gods.
Similar to Baaghi 3 – 5 Young ‘Bad Guys’ in Commercial Bollywood Cinema
People scornfully say that Indians enthusiastically consume mindless action from Hollywood franchises. After Baaghi 3, racecar parachuting from a plane onto a mountain seems much believable. We know that there is going to be mindless action here and it would be best to switch off and unwind. But then such far fetched things happen to which people say, “anything’s possible in the movies.”
The film defies logic, time, physics (we are used to that now after seeing flying cars) and has managed to unearth real-life Wolverines. Baaghi 3 showed me that Helicopter doors act as wonderful shields against men who wield rifles and Tommy guns. One moment reminded me of Wonder Woman. But that’s Wonder Woman/ Diana Pince and this is Ronnie. Who is Ronnie that the director believed that anyone can stomach such a scene?
According to Ahmed Khan, he is someone that can be propelled off the ground by the helicopter missiles and hang onto a plane to bring down 3 other helicopters that just appear. From where? They are such noisy vehicles, right? Poor editing here. Shroff then poses atop the three choppers. “Got a battle at (insert time here), but need to model before that.”
Usually, Bollywood gets a few details right and exaggerates with the action sequences. But Baaghi 3 is an over-exaggeration of action and annihilation of the nitty-gritty. The action is so over the top that it doesn’t manage to mask the other issues the film had. I struggled to wrap my head around the fact that a small town inspector was suddenly approached by the government and sent to Syria on assignment. Did the writer forget about secret agents? Don’t those guys normally get such assignments? A civilian with 33 criminal cases being allowed to travel to a war-torn country with another civilian? Really?
And I’m not too sure about a woman being allowed to roam freely in the middle east without a headcover as Shraddha Kapoor did. It’s as though they wanted to be spotted and the director wanted to present the Syrian cops as buffoons who when searching for the duo weren’t able to spot a woman with an uncovered head. But why did she even go there? Ah yes, how silly of me, foreign police forces usually do need the assistance of foreign civilians when stopping major attacks. I didn’t get the point of her being in this film. The writers gave her things to do like getting into a room and be the damsel in distress. She did give us a warning right at the start with a line talking about logic and slow motions. Kind of wished I heeded that warning.
The jokes though poor which can draw a poker face expression serve as a respite from the (highly exaggerated) sound of fist or leg or foreign objects meeting flesh.
The film has moments of brotherhood between nations and unity amongst all humans. There are heartwarming moments one of which is manufactured from the rough workbook of a primary school student. Yea the catalyst for the degree that particular characters arc takes is amusing.
You will struggle to wrap your head around such movies and the advisory would be to walk in the garden for leisure or just switch off your brain for the run time. But Baaghi 3 challenges the levels of absurdity one can digest before finally snapping and wondering what is wrong with Bollywood. There’s a limit to the audience’s tolerance levels. This film is something that can make Martin Scorsese appreciate Marvel’s films. If those are amusement parks, I wonder what label he would attach to this abomination. It’s not even over as the end credits roll. Please cover your ears as you leave.
P.S. To anyone whoever dares to say that film critics get to watch movies weekly and it’s nice and rosy. We need to watch “films” like this one too. It is alarming that mediocrity is regular and seems criterion collection worthy when compared with this.