Director: Neeraj Pandey
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, Danny Denzongpa, Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu, Kay Kay Menon
Poster of Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Baby'
When was the last time a movie stubbornly stopped your thoughts from wandering even for a fraction of a second? 'Baby' keeps you not only riveted but also with your heart permanently stuck in your mouth, through its duration of two and half plus hours. That's one of director Neeraj Pandey's biggest achievements. And the other is, tackling of an extremely sensitive subject of terrorism filtering from Pakistan with absolutely no prejudgement and more importantly, without glossing over certain uncomfortable truths. The film subtly drives home the fact that terrorism has no specific religion or region.'
'Baby' is the name of an undercover unit formed to nix any acts of terrorism and is headed by Feroze Ali Khan (Danny Denzongpa). Ajay Singh Rajput (Akshay Kumar) is Feroze's most trusted counter intelligence agent and the unit is expected to thwart terrorism in five years. The mastermind of a terrorist group, Maulana Mohammed Rahman (Pakistani actor Rasheed Naz), is sitting cosy in a border area and easily manages to brainwash the youth into spreading terror.
This is a movie that goes straight for the gut with no fancy frills or unnecessary accessories. Crisply edited, the movie moves from country to country (Turkey to Nepal to Saudi Arabia) following Ajay and his team go about ruthlessly and relentlessly tackling the dangerous terrorists with death-defying stunts (brilliant job by stunt director Cyril Raffaelli), and in the meanwhile, you have forgotten to breathe. While Akshay's (who has well earned his stripes as Action Kumar) death defying stunts are a delight, one fight scene between the female agent of the unit Priya (Taapsee Pannu) and Javed (Sushant Singh) is simply unforgettable. A professional woman is treated just the way she should be, in this one.
The film works on many levels - effective lines, some laced with dead-pan humour (written by Neeraj Pandey), the break-neck pace, near-perfect casting and minimal melodrama. Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Taapsee, Sushant, Danny, Rasheed Naaz...each of them proving to be an asset to the film. The Pakistani actor, Mikaal Zulfiqar (who plays Ashfaq), is not only pleasant to the eye but also evidently a competent actor. Akshay Kumar scores with his understated performance and a body language that's a perfect fit for an 'emotionless' cop with a single minded focus.
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.