Salman Khan puts his financial largesse, talent and a major portion of his soul into this Bollywood extravaganza; a unique, subtle, spirited view of Hindu/Muslim relationships. Lacking bludgeoning, blatant, self-serving proselytizing, the film beautifully addresses religious, cultural differences by using as “tools” a simple, righteous man “Pavan” (Khan) and a mute, lost Pakistani girl, “Munni/Shahida” (the heart of the film; gifted, gorgeous Harshaali Malhotra); a pivotal pairing, guaranteed to soften, woo and win the most intransigent viewer.
Scintillating songs, scenery and aerobic dances satisfy those unwilling to relinquish these staples of the typical Bollywood flick; the film soars with its poignant, heartfelt tale; humor abounds especially as it becomes clear that “Munni” is not of the Hindu faith; her longing for meat and cheering for the Pakistani cricket team, adds joyous levity; Pavan tries to find her parents; eventually the quest leads to a clandestine entrance into Pakistan. Schmaltzy sensationalism ensues, but disguises, quirky happenstance encounters, enhance the hilarity; all travails lead to the cementing of Munni and Pavan’s exceptional bond.
More than entertainment “Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s” (loosely translated “strong brother”) message is one of healing, hope; love and understanding resonate at its core; one leaves longing for the actuality of a harmonious coexistence between all disparate peoples, regardless of their ethnicity, religious, cultural convictions.
THREE &1/2 STARS!!!