Cast: Akshay Kumar, Danny Denzongpa, Kay Kay Menon
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Duration: 2 hrs 40 mins
Rating: * * 1 / 2
Neeraj Pandey’s Baby belongs to that rare genre of espionage thrillers although now-a-days there isn’t much of differentiation between those films and ones that tackle the issue of terrorism. Baby offers a mixed bag, by and large it remains predictable for most parts but the redeeming factor is the finale that is reminiscent of Argo, but keeps you engrossed all the same. That may not be the only film that Baby reminds you of, there is also a bit of Nikhil Advani’s D-Day in the storyline.
Akshay Kumar plays Ajay, an elite member of an intelligence unit called Baby which is formed to foil and counter terror attacks in the country. It opens with an action sequence in the heart of Istanbul which is nicely shot but has little meaning in the context of the film. The scene then shifts to India where a dreaded terrorist Bilaal (Kay Kay Menon) manages to escape from the police in broad day light. Meanwhile the intelligence unit learns that some attacks are being planned by the Lashkar group with a Mullah (Rasheed Naz) being the mastermind.
The trail leads first to Nepal and from there to the climax in the middle-east where Ajay and his team (Rana Dagubatti, Anupam Kher) manage to catch the big fish.
The problem with the screenplay is that it takes too long, almost the whole of first half to establish itself. The politics of the films and the portrayal of Muslims is also way too simplistic. Instead of seriously addressing the issue, Pandey brushes it with very broad strokes – he was better off leaving them alone rather than delving on them in this fashion.
The action is quite well choreographed, whether in Nepal, Turkey, India or the climax it ranks right up there. Particularly enjoyable is a fight scene between a lady agent (Tapsee Pannu) and the rogue dealer (Sushant Singh) in a hotel room. Since our hero is so invincible, we know exactly how it is going to end but to Pandey’s credit, the climax though predictable, is riveting.
Of the cast, the ever reliable Danny Denzongpa adds a lot of credibility to his character as Intelligence chief. The supporting actors, Anupam Kher, Rana Dagubatti and Kay Kay Menon are aptly cast. It is so refreshing to see Akshay Kumar play a role that he pulls off so well rather than those mundane comedy films that he does so often.
Published in The Navhind Times on 25th January 2015