FFG Review: Baby

BABY poster 2015.jpg

Baby theatrical poster. Image courtesy of T-Series via Wikipedia.

I want to start this review with a confession: I have no idea why this movie is called Baby, because I missed the first few minutes of the introduction.  So my best guess is that it was the narrator’s “pet project”, which is why he called it “Baby”.

The movie centers around a team of highly trained covert operatives defending India from its many terrorist threats, most of which seem to come from right next door.  Akshay Kumar stars as the lead agent who uncovers a massive terrorist threat from within his own organization, leading him on an international spy chase through India, Nepal, and Saudi Arabia.

I have mixed feelings about this movie.  It was high intensity thriller, that much is certain, but the drawback was that the tension just dragged on forever in the second half of the movie.  Will they successfully complete the mission?  Will they get caught by the brilliant inspector hot on their trail?  Will any of the agents get caught and be disavowed by their leader? Will any one of these super agents shave his mustache? (Seriously, what is with law enforcement and mustaches?)

I also liked the way Shraddha Kapoor was portrayed in the movie, and was happy with the attempts of the law enforcement unit to defend their country from terrorists while still being sensitive to an increasing feeling of isolation among India’s Muslim youth. My only wish is that these elements could have been expanded more, while cutting out some of the nail biting tension that dragged on so long that it’s a wonder I have any fingernails left at all.

So without further ado, here is my breakdown of Baby:

Ease of Pardesi Comprehension: Language 3.0/5

The subtitles were accurate (except for the swear words interestingly enough), but didn’t do any translation of the Arabic used in the movie, but I am not a 100% convinced that the characters were actually speaking Arabic.  However, as in a lot of spoken Hinglish, the main actors would frequently use phrases in English to underline the seriousness of the point they were making, which is always helpful.

Ease of Pardesi Comprehension: Subject 3.0/5

While the subject of the movie is fairly easy to understand, I am not sure how much of it can really resonate with a non-Indian viewer.  This lead to an interesting debate between me and mere mangetar, because the issues of the movie are all too relevant and real for him in a way that I couldn’t relate too, and I therefore felt that the movie was a little heavy handed in its praise of India’s counter-terrorism methods and in the portrayal of the main villain.  He was quick to point out that American thrillers are guilty of the same cinematic simplifications, but I still was hoping for a bit more character development to really even out the motivations and make the story more compelling from a foreigner’s perspective.

Overall Quality of the Movie: 2.5/5

It was a fun movie to see in theaters, and I was really pleased to see a female agent in an Indian movie who can look after herself.  But the movie dragged in a lot of places because it was trying to cover too many things, and the story line being so cluttered made for a sloppy result in my opinion.  I hope in the sequel they go into more depth about the whole “disavowing compromised agents” angle, I think that could be quite good.

Number of Catchy Songs: 0

I think in the end there were only two songs in the whole movie, which was nice for a change, but I didn’t find either of them compelling.  I mean the credit song was just a lady in constricting body con dress singing over snippets from the movie.  Come on.

So have you seen Baby yet?  Do you think my assessment was fair? What did you think? Feel free to leave some suggestions of Bollywood films you would like me to review!