‘Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan’: A tired, unimaginative amalgamation of every Salman Khan movie

By Shubhra Gupta

The fact that there’s no other name in the credit line of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan is not accidental. Every one else in the cast is incidental to the non-existent plot, which exists only to serve the legend of Salman Khan, in and as Bhai and Jaan, aka Bhaijaan.

So what about the worthies that come and go, whenever Bhai needs a break from going solo, straggly long locks blowing about his face? There’s Pooja Hegde as Bhagyalaxmi, his romantic interest, who is about the only one who manages to hold her own. The rest are a blur. There’s Sidharth Nigam-Raghav Juyal-Jassi Gill as Bhai’s younger brothers. There’s Shehnaaz Gill-Palak Tiwari-Vinali Bhatnagar, as their girlfriends. These are to be seen only in clusters of three, or six, depending upon the requirement of the scene.

There’s the Southern contingent, in the shape of Venkatesh (former rowdy turned saintly non-violent type) and Jagapathi Babu (growly villain with a thousand henchmen), safely tucked away in the post-interval section, by which time Bhaijaan has had enough time to display his standard totems: the Bhai walk, arms akimbo; the Bhai bracelet, with that azure stone; the Bhai line, which given these times, is doused in patriotism.

That’s not all. Two of Salman’s leading ladies, Bhagyashree and Bhumika Chawla, are here, the first fleetingly, the second with a little more screen time. What function do they fulfil other than reminding us of the two blockbusters (Maine Pyaar Kiya and Tere Naam) he did with them? These ladies are also nothing but totems. Duh.

In his earlier films, Salman at least had names — Prem being the most popular — and Bhaijaan was just the moniker his besotted fans bestowed upon him. In this latest outing, a remake of the 2014 Tamil-language ‘Veeram’, such niceties have been dispensed with, because, a) what’s in a name? And b) who cares, everyone knows it’s Bhaijaan, right? But names have weight: the last time a Salman film had Bhaijan in the title, its prefix was ‘Bajrangi’, and that solid Kabir Khan film had, verily, a story. This Bhaijaan is running on empty.

Cast: Salman Khan
Director: Farhad Samji
Rating: 1 star — Indian Express