Directed by Siddique. Starring Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Hazel Keech, Raj Babbar, Asrani.
Bodyguard is a huge hit but it is actually, in the words of Salman Khan from Ready, “pakao” or over-baked. It’s a formula film that over-stretches itself but it works for the audience it’s targeting- the teeny-boppers. It has got Salman flexing his body and muscles and Kareena Kapoor as the damsel in distress with a sense of dress.
Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) is a bodyguard working to protect Sartaj Singh’s (Raj Babbar) daughter Divya (Kareena Kapoor). Divya, a management student, finds him irritating and wishes Lovely would lighten up. She then pretends to make prank calls under the name of Chhaya as a way of distracting Lovely from his tight focus. Eventually, they both fall for each other over the cell phone but then things get out of hand as Salman becomes deep in love but then doesn’t realise who Chhaya actually is. And Divya is now afraid of telling the truth because of two reasons. The first is that she’ll lose Lovely’s trust. The second is because she’s supposed to be getting married to someone else in London and her family will freak out even if Lovely does support her. Can Divya overcome the odds without losing the faith of either side? That’s what leads us into the story twist from the second half.
With films like Bodyguard and Ready becoming remake hits from South Indian films, it seems like the trend of the late 80s and early 90s is back again and Salman knows exactly how to cash in on it.
Salman seems to know his strengths, comedy or body-building roles, and that’s what he’s sticking to. Kareena is doing the usual glam gal role but she too is smart and is not risking experimentation because she believes in the box office results so much too.
But Kareena does have three fashion designers behind her including the suave Manish Malhotra, which is indicative of fashion trends ranging from the chikan embroidery to the colour schemes and different styles of kurtis, kurtas and pajamas and their combinations. But even here, because it’s three people designing for her, her dressing for the part can come across as a bit schizophrenic. The songs are hummable though not necessarily memorable but are also big parts of why the film is running with the song “Teri meri…” being a big hit.
Perhaps if the film mirrored its audiences by having younger actors and was marketed to target such a young audience as they do in Hollywood, it would have worked better.
On other fronts, Raj Babbar, Asrani, Hazel Keech and the others in supporting roles are good for their acting but the scope of the plot is so weak that there is not that much for them to do. But this film is going back to the early days of Salman starrers which weren’t so driven by story but more for action and songs. I personally think Salman’s niche is comedy at this stage as well as really pouring himself out as he has with the common people with his TV show Dus Ka Dum because I really think these are building evolution points for him and he tends to shine best in these areas. And constant evolution is what we humans are about isn’t it? So keep going.