wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)
While Baby has the usual trappings of being predictable in the larger picture, it grabs your attention and keeps it there, especially post-interval.Read more
It's Pakistan incessantly organizing terrorist attacks in India. It's an Indian daredevil hero, who is almost a superhero. He is single-handedly taking the enemy out. What's not to like about the story? Even if it's predictable it has enough action sequences where the bad guy gets beaten up for you to feel good about yourself as a nation. The hero's victory is somehow your victory. All of this we expected from the film. What worked for me was the heart pounding through most of the second half. Even if, this one is no A Wednesday, especially in terms of having a relatively tight plot, Baby has a few strong sequences that keep the suspense on.
In fact, the said sequences can be thought of as short stories by themselves. The episode in Nepal and then the one in Saudi Arabia were, save for a scene or two, gripping from end-to-end. And this is even when you know any sequence has only two possible outcomes. It helps that the villain seems capable of anything. He (they) is ruthless and has no regard for human life, let alone sentiment.
These sequences also make the film a little episodic though. It is a good thing then that the episodes are linked to one another, even if only serially. More like bogies of a train, lacking the character of pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
There are points at which Baby seems to go high on drama, but there are many other times that were ripe for drama but it was avoided, adding an edge to the narrative. It also helps that none of the performances, except maybe the whole wife-angle, are dramatic. It is not a routine slice of life, it is the story of covert operations and spies and all things related.
Yet, you cannot let go of the fact, that Baby as a film doesn't show you anything new. It keeps you glued to your seat, but does it offer something that you've never seen before? No. Does it keep you glued through and through the 2.5+ hours of the film? No. The first half makes you shift in your seat rather than bring you on the edge.
Yet, by far it is one of the most thrilling films in the last year or so. I don't remember the last time I was nervous for the hero (that too, one played by Akshay Kumar) even though I knew more or less where the film was headed. To top it off, for a good hour or so. It ain't new, yet it keeps you glued. That counts for quite a bit.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...'Baby' hinges heavily on the action and stunts by Cyril Raffaelli. It’s a taut, gritty thriller that aims to kick up patriotic fervour without getting overtly jingoistic. Recommended.... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, BABY is one of the finest films ever made in the history of Indian cinema. Not only because of its excellent cinematic credentials but also because of the balanced 'Thought' behind the film. Neeraj Pandey once again proves that he's a genius. This time he proves, it's possible to better Perfection. We say, hey baby, don't think, just go for BABY. Cinema at its very best!... full review
Thumbs up, by Sarita A Tanwar, DNA : ...Baby is a must-watch to witness and enjoy the incredible combination of Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar. Easily, one of the best films of the year.... full review
Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Real world problems aside, watch the film for its well-executed action and ahem – that’s for you, ladies, for Pakistani hottie Mikaal Zulfiqar, who plays Akshay’s deeply connected contact in Gulf. And for the rejuvenated Khiladi Kumar, of course, who really knows how to kick some ass…... full review
Thumbs up, by Nupur Barua, fullhyd.com : ...Baby may not be the need of the hour, or it may just be what the country needs to snap out of its self-indulgent stupor and contribute to the nation's progress. Either way, it is a movie worth watching, for the content and the acting. Be prepared to be pepped after.... full review
Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...For Akshay Kumar, this is a high adrenalin role that allows him no time to slacken his pace. He packs a mean punch in his role as a crack officer. Danny Denzongpa as the chief of BABY, guides the operations effortlessly with his guile and diplomacy within the government. All the villians including Kay Kay Menon inject that right dose of terror. The problem with Menon is that he gets repetitive in essaying roles. But Pandey gives him no scope for that. The Maulana's maniacal terror essayed by Pakistan actor Rashid Naz is the icing on the cake. ... full review
Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Baby is definitely one of the best shot and visually appealing films in recent times. The film is shot across Kathmandu, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Delhi and Mumbai. Across every location the cinematography is beautiful and every sequence is captured with such grandeur and scale that it enlightens the experience of watching a high adrenaline film. Special Mention to the DOP (Director of Photography) Sudeep Chatterjee. This is probably the first Indian film where an Octocopter Drone (like helicopter cameras) is used to capture aerial shots. Also, a lot of scenes have been shot on live locations like busy streets to keep the authenticity of the script intact.... full review
Thumbs up, by Surabhi Redkar, koimoi : ...Baby is a must-watch film with rich content. This action thriller will woo you if you are a fan of watching raw action where blood spills and guns are trotted. An honest work that dares to bare terrorism and its religious connection. What I loved most about the film was its quality to hook you... full review
Thumbs up, by shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...Two minor complaints, though — wish they had gone easy on the background score and a glaring loophole that involves a laptop belonging to a terrorist. But everything said and done, this movie is a must watch.... full review
Thumbs up, by joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...Eventually, Baby turns out to be one of the finest films ever made in Bollywood. With a superb (and topical plot), excellent treatment, wonderful performances, never-seen-before locations, fantastic background score and an authentic narrative, it is one film that should be on your watch list this season. Coupled with the fact that the release timing of this film, which doesn't try to be pretentiously patriotic, couldn't have been better, it would certainly come on its own by the time Republic Day holiday comes calling.... full review
Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...Dum? Well, 'Baby' is a well made and fantastically presented film, which will keep you engaged throughout the film. It might lack some main factors in comparison to his last two releases, but has its own merits to boast about. The movie should have been more hard hitting and bit trimmed down. Nevertheless, right from the first shot of the film till the finale portion, despite of a few flaws 'Baby' is a neat thrillingly dazzling experience.... full review
Thumbs up, by Anish Mohanty, Planet Bollywood : ...Even though the film is engulfed in jingoism, it is far from being preachy. The action scenes, the chase sequences – everything complements the screenplay of the film and are not added without a purpose. Baby is a supremely engaging thriller that has a lot of intellectual depth as well. It does not insult the insult the intelligence of the viewers; instead it asks them to submerge themselves in the plot.... full review
Thumbs up, by ANUJ KUMAR, The Hindu : ...Akshay Kumar nails the part. Restrained without being monotonous, Akshay keeps the heart throbbing. Action choreographer Cyril Raffaelli keeps the stunts believable and the danger palpable in the lanes of Kathmandhu and Istanbul. The support actors don’t stay beyond their welcome. Taapsee impresses as the hard boiled agent in a demure salwar suit, Rana Dagubatti plays the hulk bit to the hilt. Not to forget Anupam Kher’s turn as a circumspect techie.... full review
Thumbs up, by Srijana Mitra Das, Times of India : ...Balancing characters, conspiracies and cities, director Neeraj Pandey admirably keeps Baby rich, yet tight, researched, non-sentimental and steely-eyed. Neeraj's craft has grown - he's taken trademark touches from films like Special 26 and A Wednesday, setting them here on a grand scale, with a breath-taking climax. The cinematography - desert dunes in nothing but shaded moonlight - is elegant while dialogues are robust. One of Baby's crew tells Ajay, "Tension kya lena? Ulta, aapke rehte, mazaa aata hai."... full review
Thumbs up, by Rummana Ahmed, yahoo! India : ...‘Baby’ makes for an engrossing watch because the filmmakers are not interested in making a social commentary. The film deals with a definite conflict, backs it up with a coherent plot trajectory and delivers a compelling resolution. Yes, there are some excesses and cinematic liberties taken, but considering that ‘Baby’ delivers on its promise of entertaining, I am not complaining.... full review
So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...This being the basic script of BABY could have turned it into a masterpiece espionage thriller minus all the unrequired mess and wastage of reputed artists seen in its first half. Anyway in its present avatar too it thankfully works well (only) in its final hour that surely deserves to be seen and enjoyed. So without expecting anything novel on the lines of A WEDNESDAY or SPECIAL 26, do watch it as a well shot racy thriller, ignoring the first half.... full review
So-So, by Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...All this, of course, gets forgotten when the film twists. Thereon, for the last 10 or 15 minutes of 'Baby', it keeps you on the edge and sends you off feeling happy. But, too little, too late Pandey has written the story, script and directed 'Baby'. Sometimes another pair of eye, another brain isn’t such a bad idea.... full review
So-So, by Deepanjana Pal, FirstPost : ...While Baby is not a bad film, particularly by Bollywood standards, it is manipulative, ill-informed and lazily written. Its admiration and advocacy of violence is juvenile at best and irresponsible at worst. That said, Pandey, who is credited with story, script and direction, did have the good sense to show us that not all Muslims are terrorists, whether in India or anywhere else.... full review
So-So, by Prasanna D Zore, Rediff : ...While the plot in the second half holds itself nicely, Akki-Danny Denzongpa-Kher (Daggubati is just an add-on here too) offer their best to play it as real as it gets. The second-half, especially the climax is where the film has scored well and keeps you on the edge of your seat.... full review
So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...The film is full of improbable developments, convenient cinematic license and absurd portions. The only redeeming features are the ensemble cast, a few engaging action portions and a fast-paced second half.... full review
Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Following A Wednesday and Special Chhabis, Pandey works with a bigger canvas for his third film. But Baby proves that bigger doesn't always mean better.... full review
Thumbs down, by Rohit Khilnani, india today : ...All the drama is in the second half, which is pacy and interesting. A little humor does work at regular intervals. Lead actor Akshay Kumar entertains and suits the role but a lot of actors in the film are wasted; you see them in a scene or two like Rana Daggubati, Anupam Kher and Tapsee Pannu, they join him at different points in his mission.... full review
Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...One can only cringe. Baby is a superficial cinematic condensation of the shrill television images, newspaper headlines and communally-charged political posturing that we are subjected to day in and day out. Who needs more?... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anuj
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Fan
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Nishant Wadhwa : You will not feel cheated, something which I usually feel after last few Khans flicks.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Suman
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.