Baaghi: A Rebel For Love - one for the masses; Shortcut Safari is Short cut to suffering

Baaghi is an action romance film. Sajid Nadiadwala makes sure his films are entertainers and don’t leave the masses out.  Like all love stories, two guys want the same girl. Since the girl loves only one of them, the other guy becomes the villain in the plot. The film bears similarities to the Indonesian production, The Raid: Redemption and is a remake of the Telugu movie Varsham.

Tiger Shroff, a Delhi lad, is on his way to Kerala to join a martial arts institution. He is a wayward guy and being sent here to be disciplined. On the train, he meets Shraddha Kapoor who is travelling to meet her grandmother. Both are attracted instantly and, in Kerala, their love blossoms further.

The master at the institution is an accomplished martial arts exponent. A strict disciplinarian, he is much respected. His son, Sudheer Babu, excels in martial art and uses his might to terrorize people. He sees Shraddha and falls for her and wants to marry her at any cost. Sparks fly between Sudheer and Tiger.

Shraddha’s father, Sunil Grover, is an opportunist and when offered a bagful of money, he agrees to marry off Shraddha with Sudheer. To separate her from Tiger, he concocts a story which Shraddha believes but is still not willing to marry Sudheer.

Sudheer’s father, the master of the institution, cautions Sudheer not to come between two lovers and marry where he decides on the girl. Sudheer has no scruples and poisons his farther, there being no other way to get him out of his way. He then shifts his operations to Thailand in a ten storey building. While Shraddha is kept on the top floor, the other nine are like layers of shields for her with armed and qualified fighters.

Tiger has left Kerala and is living a normal life when Grover approaches him. Shraddha has been abducted and he offers Tiger money to find her. Tiger needs the money for the treatment of a small child he has adopted while living with another student at the Institution.

Now wasting time to find Sudheer, he enters the ring to fight a no holds barred bout of a fight with a regular winner and knocks him out in one kick. The bout is being watched on a close circuit camera and his plan works. Now, Sudheer’s men are after him.

After some more fights and chases, Tiger is assumed dead. But, Shraddha is sure he will come to rescue her. And he does. After negotiating the nine floors full of goons, he is finally face to face with Sudheer. He seems to have learnt some secrets of hand to hand combat which Sudheer missed.

The story is typical and the direction is apt. What makes the film interesting is the fresh casting and action. Considering this is only his second film, the audience response to Tiger’s entry and during action scenes is tremendous. He and petite Shraddha make a good pair. Grover is good in light scenes and as scheming father. Sudheer is menacing enough for Tiger’s winning look hard-fought.

Considering this is a romantic film, it needed a couple of chartbusters but has only one song, Sab tera…which appeals.  The cinematography is good.

Baaghi is a single screen entertainer after a long gap, besides having appeal for young viewers and is set to be a decent earner.

Producer: Sajid Nadiawdwala.

Director: Sabbir Khan.

Cast: Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Sudheer Babu, Sunil Grover, Sanjay Mishra.

Shortcut Safaari..Short cut to suffering

Amitabha Singh, the producer and cinematographer associated with some award winning films has turned to direction with Shortcut Safaari. His earlier association with a children’s film was Chillar Party as a cinematographer. He worked as a DOP on Khosla Ka Ghosla and was the producer (with NFDC) of the national award winning Gujarati film, The Good Road, India’s nomination to the Oscars. But, direction is another ball game altogether.

A group of school kids belonging to the nature society of a school are taken on a day out to a nature park to learn firsthand the gift that we have in the form of nature and all that it breeds. The tour done, the kids are divided on return trip in three small vans. The teacher in charge is keener on keeping her date with her beau, ditches her students and hitchhikes on the pillion of her man.

While the students in two vans depart, the third one takes a little longer with a couple of students arguing over sitting arrangements. When they are on the road finally, the kids see a higher HP car overtake them and their fragile egos incite their driver to overtake that car. The driver hardly seems to have control on his small van but takes the challenge. He takes a shortcut, drives recklessly and lands up in a jungle. His van has bumped into a tree.

The driver needs help and leaves the kids to find a help in nearby village!! Promising to return soon, he leaves the students alone to fend for themselves. What follows is an ordeal on the viewer. The driver has vanished. The students spend the night in the van but the night is eventful as funny looking, animated hyenas, leopard etc. visit them, dance on their van and vanish! The students, despite their exposure to nature and coming as they do from high end school, think hyenas are dogs and the leopard is a cat! So much for education!!

The students, fight among themselves, sing and dance and roam the jungle to find a way out. So far, there seems to be not a soul around except a caricature of a leopard. But, as the film progresses, the jungle suddenly seems over populated. There are a couple of buffoons, supposed to provide comic relief, with toy guns who want to kill the sole leopard so that the jungle can be turned into real estate bonanza! Mall and all that!!

The film flashes Jimmy Shergill as its lead actor and you wonder where he is? Finally, he does show up in a dress weirder than that any self-styled baba ever wore. He seems to be the self-appointed keeper of the forest.

Shortcut Safaari is a film with no sense for script, let alone on for a film catering to children. The direction matches the script and is full of inconsistencies including the students cast showing varying ages. The jungle life and the few animals depicted are a joke with poor animation. Its songs are good. The editor has no scope here; he could have chopped the whole film if permitted. Some kids act well, some don’t. All others playing parents and teacher are non-actors, nor do they bother to act.

Shortcut Safaari is a children oriented film from which children are better off kept away.

Producer: Xebec Films Pvt. Ltd., Kashyap A Shah, Amigos Fin-o- tainment.

Director: Amitabha Singh.

Cast: Aashi Rawal, Sharvil Patel, Mann Patel, Deah Tandon, Ugam Khetani, Stuti Dwivedi, Hardil Kanabar, Jimmy Sheirgill.

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