Baby Review - Max. Fun, Min. Junk

Actors: Akshay Kumar, Rana Daggupati, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Danny Denzongpa, Taapsee Pannu
Story: Neeraj Pandey
Director: Neeraj Pandey

Most Bollywood films come with a triple dose of junk and just a few grains of charm (if we are lucky).

What a pleasant surprise that Akshay Kumar's latest film Baby is so different from the run of the mill Bollywood rubbish.

I haven't seen as enjoyable a Hindi film as Baby in recent months.

Action Thriller

In the able hands of director Neeraj Pandey, Baby turns out to be a highly engaging action film.

Beautifully filmed (in Turkey, Nepal, Abu Dhabi and Mumbai), neatly written by Neeraj Pandey and well enacted by Akshay Kumar, Danny Denzongpa, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon and Taapsee Pannu, Baby turns out to be a highly engaging movie (at least by Bollywood standards).

The movie's central subject is terrorism, which is not surprising given so many incidents of violence in recent years both in India and elsewhere.

Akshay Kumar plays Ajay, the leader of a secret anti-terrorist team called Baby that was put together by the Indian government to go after terrorists after the Mumbai 26/11 attacks by Pakistani trained savages.

The movie opens in Istanbul where we espy our hero Ajay on a mission to save his colleague Rakesh. Islamic terrorists have captured Rakesh and are torturing him when Ajay bursts into the room.

After a frantic chase, Ajay captures Jamal who discloses an impending attack at a Delhi mall.

Jamal's disclosures, the subsequent escape of Bilal Khan (Kay Kay Khan) in Mumbai and the kidnapping in Nepal set the stage for solid tension that never eases till the end.

If tension is the yardstick for judging an action film, then by that measure Baby delivers creditably.

Solid Performances

The acting is solid all round.

Akshay Kumar renders one of his best performances in recent years. The veteran Bollywood actor looks trim and most of his stunt scenes are executed neatly without the outlandish excesses of a Dabanng or a Kick.

London based Pakistani actor Mikaal Zulfiqar plays Ashfaq, an Indian intelligence asset in the Middle East, with considerable verve.

One of the disappointing aspects of Baby is the music. Just nothing to write home about.

The family scenes involving Ajay and his wife and children seem forced and don't fit in well with the rest of this action film. Those scenes should have been edited out since they add little value to the movie overall.

Although Baby is fairly long (clocking in at 159-minutes), it's not in the least bit boring.

Baby entrenches Neeraj Pandey's reputation as one of India's top directors, joining the company of Anurag Kashyap, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Vishal Bharadwaj.

If you loved Neeraj's A Wednesday, you'll love Baby even more.

Folks, don't hesitate to watch the high octane thriller Baby on the big screen.

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