Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan
Onto the Big Eid release of the weekend and I finished watching the much talked about film Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan starring Humaare Bhaijaan Salman Khan(oh why did that rhyme?). There was just so much talk around the film even before it was out. For starters, the film is directed by Farhad Samji who is on an absolute roll as far as atrocious content is concerned in recent times. And I too have often criticized his work by questioning on how does someone keep getting repeated chances despite a poor track record. But more on that later.
I remember the teaser of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan being released with Pathaan and surprisingly, the teaser did its job of garnering eyeballs for the right reasons. Firstly, it was an Eid release for Salman Khan, theatrically after 4 years. Secondly, it had Salman supposedly doing high octane action sequences which was enough to being the roof down of the G7 multiplex in Bandra. And lastly, the film did star Venkatesh which did promise to give the film a taste feom down South as well. But then, the marketing team began to release its songs, one after another.
The songs of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan did garner eyeballs for all the wrong reasons. While the songs independently weren’t bad, the choreography of the songs did stick out like a sore thumb. Add to that, the director had an OTT show out during this period titled ‘Pop Kaun?’ and suddenly the trolls did get active against this film. The trailer too was a big letdown and it was only then that I did get to know that the film was a remake of the 2014 Tamil film Veeram.
In a buildup to Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, I did watch Veeram during the week and Boy was that a slog. Even the most staunch Ajith fan would say that Veeram was an epic disaster in terms of storytelling. And I did wonder on why the makers did choose to remake an already bad film. As expected, the early reviews were bad and I did have several red flags up as I did venture into watching Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan(Erstwhile titled Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali, I wonder why). But then does Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
An official remake/adaptation of the original Tamil film Veeram, Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan follows the story of Bhaijaan(yes, that is Salman’s name in the film) who is still unmarried and staying with his brothers, each of whom are in love. How they make their Bhaijaan fall for a girl and what obstacles does that bring with it does form the rest of the film. For people who have watched Veeram would know that the biggest letdown there was its waferthin story and screenplay that was virtually non-existent. And same is the problem here although I must admit that some of the reviews for the film was ridiculous. We at Popcorn Reviewss do not believe in trolling a film(unless it is absolutely bad). And so here are some pointers that I would put across in what is atleast a better Salman Khan outing as compared to Race 3 and Dabangg 3(yes, that doesn’t say much. The bar is very low and this ain’t a good film too).
The screenplay standing at about a 140 odd minutes is presented as a mass masala entertainer. And while my expectations from the film were very low, I did get pleasantly surprised at a few places. That still doesn’t make it a good film, it is average at best but atleast there is a sense of coherency as far as the writing is concerned. Having watched Veeram recently, I can safely say that the writing here is not as disjointed as that in the original. So you are introduced to the ‘cardboard’ antagonist followed by the principal characters including the celebrated entry of Salman Khan. While the opening fight sequence is flat(owing to multiple jump cuts), the film does score in inducing a sense of nostalgia for the next 15 minutes which would put a smile on the faces of every 90s kid. But the film needed more of that stuff!
The events in the first half are pretty disjointed and far too simplistic. But atleast some portions of it work individually. The romantic track is an eye sore wherein you just fathom the possibility of a very old Salman Khan romancing a young Pooja Hegde. But somewhere down the line, the emotions are intact and not as scattered as in other Farhad Samji’s works. The drama is just so predictable although it has cleaned up some of the flaws from the original. The high-octane action sequence at the halfway mark doesn’t quite leave an impact but the things are setup decently for the second half which says ‘Welcome To South India’ on a banana leaf. Why the stereotype though??
I feel the second half will go down as a missed opportunity in terms of showcasing the culture which could have enhanced the final product further. But it is the non-existent writing that comes back to haunt the film. Neither are the characters well shaped up nor does the plot have any bite in it. The stakes are never really raised and the second half doesn’t shape up to be a family drama nor an action entertainer. It is as flat as a pancake. In between, one of the better executed action sequences is showcased but the drama on either side of it doesn’t leave a mark. Also, the final action sequence also doesn’t quite connect thus summing up the screenplay which is very poor although better than Veeram.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are a mixed bag here. While the lines may not be as atrocious as some of the other works of Samji, some lines are completely out of context and cringe worthy. For instance, why would you include ‘Vande Mataram’ in your dialogue sheet when the film has nothing to do with patriotism. Another ‘Brain Storming’ line was ridiculous. The music is a mixed bag too but atleast 2 songs stand out individually titled Falling In Love and Naiyyo Lagada. But the songs do deter the flow of the drama and how! There are 8 songs and a song is introduced in its narrative after every 15 minutes that almost made this like a music video with action in between. The main culprit is the choreography which is embarassing to put it in a good way. The BGM actually works in quite a few places wherein it does try and enhance the drama, momentarily so.
The cinematography is alright but the action scenes(barring one featuring a drone shot) could have been shot better. The editing is ridiculously bad. It is so choppy even in action sequences that it does hamper the overall product. Director Farhad Samji has been the centre of hate recently ever since he is given the responsibility to direct Hera Pheri 3. There have been hate campaigns in the form of petitions on how he would ruin the franchise. And that can be attributed to his ridiculously bad previous works. However, here he hasn’t done a bad job(to give credit where due). Although the direction isn’t good either, there is some sense of control in his craft here which was lacking previously. Yes, the presentation had to be better for a mass masala entertainer but one takeaway for him could be to not overtry. Less is more and if he does get a grip on that, it could help enhance his craft better. But not so bad Mr. Samji, this time!
Salman Khan films are stacked with actors who are potentially out of work or atleast finding their feet. And that is no different here. What that does is that it does get the acting standards down significantly. Some of the standout performers for me was Satish Kaushik in one of his last appearances who did a pretty good job. Bhagyashree does add a tinge of nostalgia with her appearance. Venkatesh does a goid job too in a limited screen time. Vinali Bhatnagar as Chahat, Palak Tiwari as Muskaan(spunky at places) and Shehnaaz Gill as Sukoon have no real role and they barely have anything significant to do. Jagapathi Babu, Abhimanyu Singh and Bhumika Chawla are wasted too. Vijender Singh is just so bad that he may become a butt of jokes on the internet which is sad. An Indian Olympic Medalist being reduced to this trash is indeed sad.
Jassie Gill as Mo, Siddharth Nigam as Luv and Raghav Juyal as Ishq(I am not making these names up and a clear case of the writers overtrying with their comedy) just miss the mark with their roles. Only momentarily, they find some emotions to play with but otherwise either they don’t act or overcompensate in certain places. Pooja Hegde as Bhagya looks gorgeous and does a decent job too. Salman Khan as Bhaijaan is a bit of a hit and a miss. While some emotions land somewhere, he is simply just turning up and sleep walking through his performance. It is about time he starts collaborating with good makers as all eyes shift to Tiger 3 on Diwali. Eid Nahi Par Diwali Pe Dhamaka Hoga, Bring It On!
In all fairness, Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan is not as bad as the original film Veeram(as some of the reviews might be saying). Yet, the bar is so low that this doesn’t classify as a good film either. It is average at best. Available in a theatre near you.