Who is Tollywood's number one hero

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Action movie. India. Hindi
Alternative titleबॉडीगार्ड

Director Siddique
script Siddique, JP Chowskey, Kiran Kotiral
production Alvira Agnihotri, Atul Agnihotri
Songs Himesh Reshammiya, Pritam
camera Sejal Shah
choreography Vaibhavi Merchant, Ganesh Acharya, Mudassar Khan, Vishnu Deva
actorSalman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Raj Babbar, Asrani, Vidhya Sinha, Hazel Keech, Rajat Rawail,
Mahesh Manjrekar, Chetan Hansraj, Katrina Kaif, Aditya Pancholi, Sharat Saxena, Karishma Kapoor (voice)
length 131 min.

Theatrical release 31.9.2011
Box office classification
Molodezhnaja age recommendation from 12


© Text Marco, molodezhnaja 19.10.2011
© Images Reliance, screenshots molodezhnaja

Lovely Singh (Salman Khan) works as a bodyguard and is the best in his field. His latest assignment comes from the wealthy Sartaj Rana (Raj Babbar), who needs a bodyguard for his daughter Divya (Kareena Kapoor). The young woman can't stand her guardian at first and is kidding him by the line and thread. On the phone she always pretends to be "Chhaya" - and unintentionally wins Lovely's heart. When the bodyguard saves her life, Divya is also in love. But how can she explain to her loved one that she is Chhaya? And how should the father, who is already suspicious, ever agree to that?


You may think what you want of Salman Khan - but one thing has to be admitted without envy: he is the star of the year. And that was two decades after his breakthrough. The man with the biceps has always been a sought-after entertainer, but if you deliver the two most successful films in the same year, and do so with dream numbers, then that deserves a lot of respect. Of course, this says nothing about the quality of his work. So it was blockbuster number one, Ready, a pile of trash. And now with "Bodyguard", blockbuster number two, he doesn't exactly rise into new spheres. But he knows what people want. And gives it to them with contagious joy.

What is he giving? Jokes for the masses, action en masse and tons of chart songs. And all of that with a touch of South India. There in Kollywood, Tollywood & Co. the craziest Masala-Reisser are still filmed today, with superhuman heroes, young women and abstruse action. So what was perfected in northern Bollywood in the 70s and 80s. And now it is just returning through the southern filter. Several directors from the south stage, stars from the south play supporting roles and plots have already been tried out in the south. So also that of "Bodyguard", who filled the coffers there in 2010.

The original director Siddique ran again - and his influence can be clearly felt. So Salman can dodge bullets and jump backwards five meters from the moving train. Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with action anymore, that's gaga. Bollywood never had the most furious action choreography either, but since southern cinema began to exert its influence, the situation has only gotten worse. This may be well received in India - but such nonsense has no place in a film that takes place in the here and now. If so in a superhero film, or a cyber film à la Matrix. Where's the attraction when we see Salman flying through the air, and that doesn't seem natural or real, but just laughable?

But the action isn't the only weak point: It doesn't look much better with the humor - and that can't be blamed on the southern influences. If jokes about fat and dwarfed people are supposed to get the audience going, then good night. "Bodyguard" brings jokes out of the moth box that make you feel ashamed of yourself. And even the "more modern" gags are second class. The cell phone joke, for example, that goes on for half the film and is never funny even once, simply doesn't want to end. Only then did I realize that this would last through the entire film and, so to speak, represent the most important driving force for action. Damn!

The mix-up and secret love story is just not a hit. Not on a large scale - and not on a small scale, if, for example, Kareena thinks Salman is really stupid and immediately falls in love after the very first fight. After all, the stars are still selling it convincingly: After a cheeky start, Kareena Kapoor is in permanent suffering mode. It is certainly not her best role, but the actress always has more charisma than any interchangeable dolls who are recruited as heroes for the over-40 star squad at the age of 18.

And then of course there is Salman. He's the star, he's the bodyguard. From the twitching of the biceps in the title song to his mischievous grin to the macho action scenes. The same applies to him: not a career highlight. But at least he doesn't saw the nerves like in Ready, but holds back with excesses, apart from the initial phase and the action. Other actors fade away or become accessories, such as Salman friend Katrina Kaif in her guest dance appearance. When it comes to Salman, there is only music - from a man named Himesh Reshammiya.

Yes, you would hardly believe it: Reshammiya, who has not had a hit for a long time and once vowed to only act, is back. And only as a composer - without singing himself. That is remarkably indecent. And the acoustic result is pretty good. The tracks are fun, they enhance the film noticeably. The rest is just not much more than an acceptable average. "Bodyguard" has a charismatic star, solid entertainment value, and good music. But it's also pretty abstruse, the action bumps, some musical elements are stolen (you can hear the Inception influences in the final fight), the story is thin, the Kuch Kuch Hota shark-like finale is drawn out. After all, Salman has demonstrated that he can make such an assembly-line matter a huge success. Not a bad achievement.


1) Bodyguard - Nice mood-maker song, with a stolen guitar riff, Katrina's guest appearance and somewhat embarrassing biceps play by Salman (Salman Khan, Band Of Power).
2) I Love You - Nice ballad (Ash King, Clinton Cerejo).
3) Desi Beats - Classic bhangra meets disco: a hit mix that is well received (Mika Singh, Amrita Kak).
4) Teri Meri - sovereignly sung love song with orchestral accompaniment (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shreya Ghoshal)


Reliance (IND), Code 0, NTSC
Image: Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Hindi 5.1 with English and Arabic subtitles (film and songs).
Disk Rating * * *


Induna (supplies from IND)


Bollywood Hungama (4½ / 5)
Rediff (2½ / 5)



Screenshots of the DVD with TotalMedia Theater 3, reduced and slightly sharpened with CorelPaint


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