The three consecutive Eid releases of films starring Salman Khan Wanted (2009), Dabangg (2010) and Bodyguard have a pattern to it. It’s a template that has finally got tiresome, the lack of creative control of the directors is certainly telling in all three instances. Khan’s introduction with exaggerated fight sequences, followed by a song visual extolling the hero, followed by a semblance of a story packed with more fight sequences and songs, the Khan shirt unravelling to profile the famous topless body and a happy villain-killing ending. While Wanted was a new experience in its presentation for the Hindi film audience, Dabangg had the spark of originality, a celebration of formula beneath its redundancy. No such welcome escapism here.
Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) is a bodyguard. As the loose narrative unfolds, Lovely’s dad, also a bodyguard, succumbs to a road accident, while his pregnant mother is saved by a wealthy landlord Sartaj (Raj Babbar). Years later, Lovely is called by Sartaj to guard his daughter Divya (Kareena Kapoor) at her college. There is no back-story on why Sartaj or the daughter is targeted. Anyway, Lovely’s constant presence irritates Divya to such an extent; she pretends to be a girl in love with Lovely. The medium is the cell phone and an unidentifiable number. Events so unfold that Divya falls in love with Lovely, but for some unfathomable reason, she doesn’t reveal her identity. The villains are mere props, a brief but sturdy turn by Aditya Pancholi needed some space. The final thirty minutes go horribly wrong in its blending of love, betrayal and sacrifice. These parts needed flesh and reason and the script provides no explanation to the bizarre happenings.
As for Salman flying from one moving local train to another one's rooftop, his power punches and bone crunches, we have seen enough. They are like a much-repeated product advertisement, not a film. Salman is earnest, his meeting scene at the garden is one of his best acted parts. Kareena plays her part well, the weak characterisation lets her down. The supporting cast has little to do. The comic attempts are an irritant.
An obese man sports a t-shirt – SIX PACK COMING SOON. The other moment - Rahat Fateh Ali Khan lifts an average Himesh Reshammiya composition with his rendition of Teri Meri Meri Teri. Pritam’s guest composed I love you is a pleasure to listen, zestfully sung by Ash King and Clinton Cerejo.