This guest review comes from Jhon Hernandez of the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture.
When discussing Bajrangi Bhaijaan, the first instinct might be to solely view it as a Salman Khan vehicle. After all, Khan is one of the biggest stars in all of Indian cinema, and this is but another in a string of hits that he’s had over the last 20 years. His recent films have all been formulaic action thrillers that mostly rely on his charisma and the relationship he has with his adoring fans to make them work, if they work at all. And, while a lot of what’s pleasurable about the new film has to do with Salman Khan’s film persona and how this film uses it to its own ends, a look at the director, Kabir Khan, might be worthwhile. I’m an auteurist. What can you do?