Baby tries to be a grown up, slick Hollywood action flick and achieves it with superficial packaging of style much like Akshay’s trim moustache. By usual Bollywood standards, this may be good. (One shall refrain from comparing it with Dabangg mooch).
However, the film remains a half measured effort with moments of realistic action in interesting locales of Nepal and Middle East, nonstop background drone to fill up long silent sequences, superficial dialogues and a sketchy storyline. Yet, Baby comes across as a cleverly packaged portrayal of Indian politics and spies.
That is where Neeraj Pandey, the director of A Wednesday and Special 26,scores.
More so, because Akshay Kumar plays the hero, Ajay, an undercover agent, without gyrating his pelvis. Neither does he fly across buildings and cars in the fight scenes.
Instead, he calmly gets up from his chair in a Chief minister’s office, shuts the door, walks up to the CM’s secretary and gives him a hard, resounding slap. Kumar’s boss (Danny Denzongpa), quietly sips his tea. After all, the secretary (Murli Sharma) has just insulted the patriots who have died for the country.
A few scenes later, Ajay coolly apologizes for it and means it too. At another point, he slaps a Pakistani criminal. This time, he is totally unapologetic and says it’s a habit.
When it comes to a real fight scene, he arrives too late. His partner-in-non crime (Taapsee Pannu), a young, spirited, attractive woman in salwar kameez has just packed in some solid punches and knocked a Pakistani spy unconscious. This scene alone makes Baby worth a dekko.
Ajay is a part of secret agents team who is on an anti terrorist mission and has embarked on what is called, “Operation Baby”. Plenty of Mujahidin and other common terrorist gang names are thrown in. There is a bearded mullah in Kashmir, whose over tight close-ups with riot flames reflected in his eyes and long boring speeches try hard to make the setting and the people real. However, he and other wanted terrorists like Kay Kay Menon and Sushant Singh fail to evoke any fear.
There is an interesting and picturesque build up in the way Ajay and his team (Anupam Kher, Rana Daggubatti) drive into the deserts of Middle East to kill a terrorist. But the climax cops out for the easiest, filmy route that leaves you disappointed.
After all, this Baby is too scared to grow out of the Bollywood one-eyed pretentious look at terrorism. No different from politics. Because, it’s all in the name of Jihad. It just happens to have a catchy title and some cool moves.