Review: Baji lacks the superhero magic

Posted on Feb 7 2015 - 5:21am by Shailesh Narwade

Is it mandatory for every superhero to wear a mask and carry a long sword?

If the makers of Marathi film Baji had raised the same question among them and had thought creatively to find its answer, they might have given us a wonderful film. Sadly, it didn’t happen. And the result is we get a film that offers nothing new, except that it’s in Marathi.

Interestingly, I found a few similarities between Nikhil Mahajan’s Baji and Nishikant Kamat’s last year’s blunder called Lai Bhaari.

  • The makers of both these films seem to be lacking in original ideas and are highly obsessed with Rakesh Roshan formulas as they have shown that a protagonist is killed by the villain and a lookalike appears later to step into the former’s shoes.
  • The actors, who play respective leads in these films, already have punctured reputations, thanks to the meaningless roles they played in Hindi films.
  • Both the films have good actors playing villains but they are made to do all childish things in the name of menace.
  • Both the films have given good scriptwriters the opportunities to write their worst dialogues ever, and good directors to make their bad films.
  • The lengths of both these films test your patience.

Baji lacks the superhero persona. The role suffers from weak characterization, dull presentation and done-to-death dialogues. We hear villagers shouting that he is their savior, but looking at him doesn’t give us the same confidence. Shreyas Talpade is a good actor but that doesn’t mean he will suit every role. Though, his efforts are appreciable.

Jitendra Joshi is a very good actor, who slips into any role very conveniently. In Baji also, his look and performance is worth watching, but this is not his best performance.

The only face-saving factor in Baji is Amruta khanvilkar, for the each and every frame, she appears in, comes as a soothing relief for your pains. The actress never before looked so pretty and graceful; and therefore the designers surely deserve applause for her looks and costumes. On the performance front too, Amruta tops among the entire team.

Filmmaker Ravi Jadhav is okay in the cameo. Nagraj Manjule was very natural in Fandry, but he appears struggling in Baji.

The film’s dialogues are very hopeless, and disappointingly they came from Shrirang Godbole, who has given so many beautiful songs and scripts. Probably, here he might be competing with Sanjay Pawar’s work in Lai Bhaari. Many dialogues in the film look like they have been translated into Marathi from two-decade-old Hindi films.

Music by Atif Afzal is not impressive. Songs are slow and very unnecessary in the film. Mahajan has used two item numbers to spice up the narration, but having Shruti Marathe alone is not enough to make a foot-tapping dance number.

Vasu Rane’s camerawork is noticeable. There was much hype about Stunt Silva’s action sequences in Baji, however it all seemed ordinary and only those will be impressed who watch only Marathi films. And more importantly, editor Abhijeet Deshpande could have helped the film looking a bit better had he ruthlessly cut the film short by at least 30 minutes.

To be true, Baji has nothing sort of a superhero material. And if it’s a treasure hunt, then Chintoo 2 was more interesting. The concepts of superhero films are changing. So if you wanted to make this one for kids, you have failed miserably. And if this was intended for elders, you must once again watch Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Overall it seems like a very desperate and unnecessary attempt to make a superhero film in Marathi. Nothing wrong in it, but you must have lived up to your reputations at least. IME has always given content-rich films. Nikhil Mahajan’s debut film was also worth noticing. It’s very surprising that when Mahajan and the Godboles are talented enough to make good films, why they are wasting so much money and trying too hard to make not-so-good films?

Pune 52 was very fresh, creative and mature. A weak film like Baji was certainly not expected from the same producer and director. What the fucktaka!