1. Baby movie review: Akshay Kumar’s thriller perniciously plays up prejudices

Baby movie review: Akshay Kumar’s thriller perniciously plays up prejudices

Akshay Kumar's oddly-titled Baby does little to dispel the questions.

By: | Updated: January 25, 2015 1:34 PM
Baby, Baby movie review, baby review, baby film, Baby Akshay Kumar, Akshay Kumar, Akshay Kumar Baby

Movie review: Baby; Akshay Kumar starrer is deeply flawed. (PTI)

Movie review: Baby; Director: Neeraj Pandey; Cast: Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu, Rana Daggubati, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa, Sushant Singh, Mikaal Zulfiqar and Rasheed Naz

Makers of Bollywood thrillers are obsessed with counter-terrorism ops. So in recent times, Hindi movie fans have witnessed the heroic exploits of many an undercover agent and wondered where the truth of such covert missions really lies.

Neeraj Pandey’s oddly-titled Baby does little to dispel the questions. Worse, it perniciously plays up prejudices in the bid to give its storyline a jingoistic context and mass appeal.

After busting sleeper cells last year in Holiday – A Soldier is Never Off Duty, action hero Akshay Kumar is back in business to send the terrorists packing all over again.

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This time around, not only does he have to stand up to brutal adversaries from the enemy camp, he also has to reckon with rivals within the ranks.

But his intrepid excursions into danger zones, despite his nonchalant swagger, yield nothing more than a strong sense of deja vu.

This is Akshay’s second film with Pandey after Special 26, and it isn’t a patch on the earlier outing.

Despite its largely realistic approach to the theme, Baby is an unconvincing portrayal of the life and times of a brave spy whose job is to thwart terror plots.

The film draws many of its plot details from real people and incidents. But, in constructing its worldview about good guys and bad guys, it goes completely overboard with overt alarmism and finger-pointing.

The principal villain of the film is a Hafiz Saeed-like maulana who, from his hideout on the other side of the border, plots terror strikes against India.

To foil the proxy war, counter-terrorism operative Ajay Rajput (Akshay Kumar), one of the last surviving members of an elite team of secret agents set up after 26/11, crisscrosses the world in pursuit of the radicals.

Baby might have worked to an extent as an espionage drama had the characters been more persuasive and their worldview a little less shallow.

The hero never evolves beyond a typical single-dimension Hindi movie protagonist. While he is an invincible man who can do anything and get away with it, the terrorists are dolts who walk blindly into the traps that he lays for them.

Taapsee Pannu, in a de-glam avatar, turns in a passable cameo as a female undercover agent who packs a mean punch.

That apart, Baby has quality actors like Kay Kay Menon, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa and Sushant Singh in roles that are supposed to be authentic representations of the actual world.

But neither the cast nor the screenplay has enough substance to support the bellicose bombast at the heart of the film.

This cinematic take on the serious business of fighting devils, known and unknown, internal and external, is deeply flawed and tendentious.

There is absolutely nothing innocuous about Baby.

  1. J
    Jagdish
    Jan 24, 2015 at 2:38 am
    Sickular media lick boots of stan n write negative things about such a wonderful movie
    Reply
    1. V
      Vikash usa
      Jan 26, 2015 at 10:17 am
      ROFL. Get well soon! Being a true hindi film fan. I would rate the movie best of all time. India is a free country, people have right to express. But have some knowledge.
      Reply
      1. A
        Adistand
        Jan 25, 2015 at 1:28 am
        "Makers of Bollywood thrillers are obsessed with counter-terrorism ops" This is sad ;( Pseudo-secularist are now into movie reviewing too!! Run!!
        Reply
        1. Aditi Mukherjee
          Jan 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm
          The reviewer has not been fair to a movie made well. Read my take on baby at: goo.gl/9OwZCg
          Reply
          1. B
            Brajesh nath
            Jan 26, 2015 at 2:49 am
            Are u done with pouring venom on stars other than AK, SRK & SK? Go take a walk. A well made movie should be appreciated but you are questioning the very premise of the story and harping on that. Don't view a movie like an art house junkie, full of self proclaimed and psuedo intellectualizing.
            Reply
            1. I
              Indian
              Jan 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm
              Don't watch action movies please , Watch Anurag Kashyap's UGLY
              Reply
              1. I
                Indian
                Jan 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm
                Don't watch action movies please , Watch Anurag Kashyap's UGLY
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sharmila
                  Jan 25, 2015 at 8:08 am
                  Akshay should've been a model. He can't act.
                  Reply
                  1. Puneet Kumar
                    Jan 24, 2015 at 2:32 am
                    Yes and the reviewer here has totally gone out of the mind... He was on a heavy dose of sleep inducing drugs while he watched the movie.. ^_^
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      kishore
                      Jan 24, 2015 at 3:33 am
                      I liked the movie so much guys. Go watch it..
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        kriti
                        Jan 25, 2015 at 9:01 pm
                        Super movie Super akshay Super direction Super all big and small actors Luvd it Go watch it Or critic is plain dumb
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          Roshan Paul
                          Jan 23, 2015 at 10:57 pm
                          Ha ha ha..... The guy who wrote this review seems insane....... Baby is one of the best bollywood thriller ever made......
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            Vikram Rathod
                            Jan 24, 2015 at 11:17 pm
                            Dear Financial express, Please change your film critic. This guy deserves films like Happy New Year and Kick....
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Rakesh
                              Jan 24, 2015 at 1:49 am
                              article by an SR Fan...
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Rohit Sharma
                                Jan 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm
                                Baby is unarguably one of the finest, riveting, taut, espionage thrillers to have hit Indian screens which not only provides edge of the seat excitement but also maintains that feeling of adrenaline rush all through its run time which is the pre requisite of any good thriller. Baby keeps you glued to your seats with its thriller quotient and is a must watch. For my detailed review, please visit................:rohitmoviereview.blogspot/
                                Reply
                                1. SANDEEP KUMAR
                                  Jan 24, 2015 at 4:23 am
                                  BULL REVIEW ! ... the movie was an excellent work by the w team . As expected of the duo Neeraj pandey and Akshay kumar, After Special 26 they this time had shown very neatly and crisply that a movie on covert operations can be made without some over hyped and out of the blue scenes. Quality acting by every person. Anupam kher added humour at certain interval which made the movie enjoyable with it's tight script. A special mention to the action director Cyril Raffaelli - he showed effortlessly how actions can be created as real as it is. If you want to take a break from the pretentious movies, then watch BABY
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Satish Kamble
                                    Feb 4, 2015 at 7:22 pm
                                    Really, Baby is is as good as a Hollywood movie. I really appreciate Akshay Kumar for starring in such an incredible action flick; moreover, it deserves all Indians support to be a super hit of 2015.
                                    Reply
                                    1. N
                                      Nitinn
                                      Jan 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm
                                      LOL!! Your amazing knowledge of English is nothing but a flank to camouflage your own Ostrich-like, Pseudo-"Sick"ular self! Baby, as a movie, is brutally honest in its essment of the threats that India is facing, from outside and within. Closing your eyes to the truth won't help in recognizing the real face of terror - that Neeraj Pandey has dared to showcase in this once-in-a-lifetime flick. This one's probably the best action-thriller in Indian cinema; one that doesn't mince any words in calling a spade a spade, and will appeal to every patriotic Indian - Period!
                                      Reply
                                      1. N
                                        Nitinn
                                        Jan 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm
                                        These guys just deleted my honest overview that slammed the author for writing such a superficial and denigrating piece on Baby - Long Live free speech!
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Sam
                                          Jan 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm
                                          Yes! And Happy New Year or PK were deeply perfect thrillers/comedies and social films which could be watched again and again.
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            Sumit
                                            Jan 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm
                                            Pseudo secularism everywhere. Ostrich like atude. Close your eyes and pretend that danger is not there.
                                            Reply
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