For most of us, the festive season is also about entertaining ourselves with a Bollywood biggie. Following two blockbuster Eid releases in the last two years, WANTED  and DABANGG , Salman Khan, the darling of the masses,
unleashes yet another entertainer this Eid [this time, it coincides with Ganesh Chaturthi] -- BODYGUARD. The buzz around a Salman movie only got bigger this year, but the pertinent question is, will Salman deliver yet another festive hit with
BODYGUARD? After having set such high standards for himself, will Salman surpass his previous achievements? Well, that should be easy to pull off taking into account [a] Salman's current form at the box-office and [b] The film has the merits
to stand on its feet.
A section of the industry feels that Salman is limiting himself to hardcore masala films that defy logic. That he's slowly getting typecast in similar genre movies. Perhaps, you may assume that BODYGUARD is no exception. You may also
assume that BODYGUARD is an extension of what we've witnessed in DABANGG and READY. But it is not so. Let me say, BODYGUARD is atypical Salman entertainer, yet there are moments [in its second hour specifically] that make it
stand apart from all Salman starrers we have witnessed in the recent past, which includes WANTED, DABANGG and READY.
Let me elaborate. You expect Salman starrers to be larger-than-life, superhero films. You expect him to be the messiah of the masses. BODYGUARD presents Salman exactly the way we expect him to be presented, but, at the same time, the
film brings back memories of the soft, romantic roles that Salman essayed in his initial films. What makes the film tick is that Salman and director Siddique have done something hatke within the limitations of the typical Bollywood
formula, which, I am sure, should appeal to the Hindi movie buff abundantly.
Final word? BODYGUARD is a perfect family entertainer that compliments the spirit of the festive season.
When it comes to being punctual and doing his duties perfectly, Lovely Singh [Salman Khan] is unmatchable. Taking great pride in what he does, he spares no effort in giving his everything to his profession.
Lovely is summoned for an assignment of guarding Divya [Kareena Kapoor], the daughter of Sartaj Rana [Raj Babbar], a business tycoon. Lovely accompanies her to her campus, but ends up rubbing her the wrong way with his over-protective
nature. She finds him to be a major obstacle in leading a regular campus life. To throw him off-track and get him out of the way, she comes up with a 'master plan' -- that of trapping him in a fake love affair. 'Once he's smitten by the girl of his
dreams and is reveling in his new-found romance, he will leave us alone and we shall be free to do our own thing unhindered', says Divya to her friends.
She becomes an anonymous admirer of his and starts hounding him, expressing her 'feelings' in no uncertain terms. Lovely, however, proves to be a tough nut to crack and it takes quite a bit of doing from her side to penetrate his fort-like
exterior. But once she succeeds in doing so, he transforms into a completely different person. Divya is triumphant and is all set to relish her regained freedom.
But things take an unexpected turn when she learns a few things about Lovely. Things that she could've never even imagined. And she soon finds herself trapped in a dilemma that she's unable to resolve. And with her, soon enough, Lovely finds
himself trapped in a web of lies, trickery and deceit.
BODYGUARD is a simple-n-sweet tale of love that's engaging and relatable. At the same time, there's an unexpected twist in the pre-climax which shocks you completely. At no point does the director swerve from the main plot to provide a few
extra laughs or thrills. Besides, this is a script which gives actors a lot of room to emote. And both Salman and Kareena seize the opportunity with both hands. More on that later!
Like I pointed out earlier, with BODYGUARD, Salman returns to a genre he started out with -- love story. Sure, BODYGUARD is a remake of a Malayalam film [remade in various South Indian languages as well], which has all the trappings of a
perfect masala film -- action, music, comedy -- but BODYGUARD is essentially a love story at heart. Salman's intro may give an impression that it's a hardcore masala film, especially the song and fight sequence [frankly, the first half of the film
is routine, with not much happening in the plot]. The director reserves the best for the second half, when it transforms into a love story. The action scene in the second half -- when Salman and Aditya Pancholi get into a fist fight -- is outstanding
and will send his fans in raptures. Especially the moment when Salman's shirt rips off and his ripped muscles can be seen. The twist in the tale is a complete shocker. In fact, the penultimate reels of the film catches you complete unaware since
you don't expect the story to change so dramatically.
Director Siddique, who has directed the same script for the third time, ensures that a simple story is narrated with simplicity and unfussiness. The twist in the tale comes at the right time, the songs are smartly integrated in the plotline and of
course, there are ample comic moments, courtesy Rajat Rawail. The best thing about the film is that Siddique has made a very conscious effort to project Salman as a sensitive human being and not as a demigod, which is why the character
becomes all the more relatable and endearing.
The soundtrack fits the genre of the film well. The title track at the very start [Salman's intro] will draw whistles and claps, while 'Teri Meri' is undoubtedly the pick of the lot. Soulfully rendered, this one's simply mesmerizing. Overall, it's a hit score
from Himesh Reshammiya and Pritam. Sejal Shah's cinematography is appropriate. Vijayan's action sequences are stylish. Though not an action film, the action sequences do stand out.
Salman delivers one of his best performances in recent times. He makes magnificent use of his tough physique and soft face. Salman's fans are sure to lap this knockout performance in a big way. BODYGUARD would be incomplete without
Kareena's contribution. Some roles are tailor-made for actresses who can deliver with aplomb and who better than Kareena to infuse life in a challenging character. She looks gorgeous [as always] and gives this character the dignity that it
deserves. Raj Babbar is perfect. Mahesh Manjrekar is as usual. Aditya Pancholi, in a cameo, stages a welcome comeback. He's first-rate. Rajat Rawail is a joy to watch. He's truly funny. Hazel is quite good. Asrani and Vidya Sinha are okay in
their respective parts.
On the whole, BODYGUARD works for varied reasons -- it has a simple, but captivating story with a dramatic twist in the tale, the chemistry between the lead actors is perfect and the music is well juxtaposed in the narrative. But its biggest USP is, without doubt, Salman Khan. He carries the film on his broad and brawny shoulders and that alone is the imperative reason for watching this film. BODYGUARD should emerge his third festive hit and fourth super-success at the ticket window. Expect a hurricane called BODYGUARD to strike at the box-office.