At The Movies This Weekend: 'Baby'
B-Town’s fast emerging powerhouse duo, Neeraj Pandey and Akshay Kumar, unite once more to bring audiences a slick, action-packed thriller that redefines the genre in Indian cinema. Baby, a Neeraj Pandey film, a Crouching Tiger and Friday Filmworks production, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shital Bhatia, Cape of Good Films and Crouching Tiger releases on 23 January, distributed in the UK by Filmonix.
Known to take risks and delve into subjects that are true in nature, Neeraj Pandey has carved a niche for himself as a director with strong vision and unconventional ideas. After Special 26, which garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success in 2013, the filmmaker once more directs action supremo, Akshay Kumar, alongside a stellar cast including Anupam Kher, Rana Daggubati, Danny Denzongpa, Kay Kay Menon, Rashid Naz, Taapsee Pannu, Sushant Singh, Madhurima Tulli, Mikaal Patras, Aziz Zulfiqar and Hasan Noman. Like Pandey’s previous films, each character is vividly sketched to take this high-octane thriller into a gripping zone, bringing to the screen a dynamic ensemble of power performances.
Baby is set against the backdrop of international terrorism – a no-nonsense entertainer in which Kumar plays a top counter intelligence agent. It is a story of those unsung heroes who guard the common man fearlessly, under the radar. A Neeraj Pandey film is synonymous with meticulous research and attention to detail. Steeped in current events, Baby will resonate with audiences of all ages and segments and entertain in thrilling style. The teaser, which released in November 2014, has already made Baby count amongst the most-talked about films on social media platforms. Aptly titled Baby Sizzle, it went viral in just a few minutes of launching.
A signature characteristic of an Akshay Kumar film, audiences can be sure of real, raw action. The actor has pushed his limits in Baby, alongside Rana Daggubati, and executed real life stunts under the supervision and guidance of international action directors. Shooting of the film spanned far and wide, from Kathmandu, Oman and Istanbul to Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Delhi, breathtakingly essayed on screen. Composers Meet Bros Anjjan have crafted an intense and atmospheric soundtrack to add a further dimension to the film.
The country is perpetually under threat from terrorist powers. While the common Indian fights for everyday issues, there are deeper and bigger threats to him and his family that he will never know exist, because it is the men and women in uniform that safeguard them; the men and women who put country before self; the men and women who define history.
Ajay (Akshay Kumar) is one such officer; part of an elite team chosen from amongst the best in the forces to form a covert counter intelligence unit. In the course of foiling one terrorist attack bid, Ajay discovers a major threat to the nation – a plan to cause damage and strike fear at the heart of society’s very existence. The plot is masterminded by a maniacal leader, Maulana Rehman, whose organisation has a network spread across the world. As days progress, the unit goes through escalating challenges with time ticking against them. At every juncture, the members of the unit give it all their strength and stand tall to safeguard the common man. Covert and courageous operations are performed across Kathmandu, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Delhi and Mumbai as the protectors will not rest until evil is defeated.
Will the maniacal Maulana Rehman and his band of evil succeed in striking terror in the heart of India? Will the Indian Government change gears from being reactive to proactive and strike? Will Ajay and his unit be able to prevent this terror tsunami?
Tidbits And Facts About Baby
Why is the film called Baby?
Ever since promotions of Akshay Kumar’s Baby started, there has been curiosity as to why he has chosen to be in another film entitled Baby after Sajid Khan's earlier Heyy Babyy. Director Neeraj Pandey explains, "There is no huge secret behind my film's title. It's the nickname for the black op that Akshay Kumar and the others in his team are part of. The unit is on a trial run for five years. And since it's in its infancy everyone calls it Baby.” Neeraj was advised to create an aura of suspense around the film's title but simultaneously doesn't want to create an unnecessary atmosphere of curiosity. "Audiences must be told what they need to know about a film," he adds. "They can't come to my film expecting to see a cute infant in it."
Akshay Kumar’s fan makes Baby schedule in Istanbul a memory
While the team of forthcoming thriller Baby was shooting an action sequence in the picturesque streets of Istanbul, a young girl suddenly started screaming superstar Akshay Kumar's name. Everyone was taken by surprise, particularly as the girl proceeded to sing 'Mujh Mein Tu', coincidentally from the previous Neeraj Pandey-Akshay Kumar film, Special 26.
The actor was suitably impressed with the young girl who sang the entire song, being a foreigner. Huge crowds gathered thereafter and created quite a frenzy. Shooting resumed once the crowds were controlled. Director Neeraj Pandey says, “'Mujh Mein Tu' is a nice melodious track from our previous film Special 26 and when I heard the young girl singing the song, it was quite a pleasant surprise. She knew the entire lyrics and this just shows cinema has no barriers. Akshay is truly loved the world over."
Action sequences in Akshay Kumar's Baby shot with Octocopter Drone
With the amount of technological advancements made globally, everything around the world has become easier. Filmmaking is no different. Akshay Kumar's forthcoming release, slick action thriller Baby, is the first film to use Octocopter Drone to film the movie's action sequences.
Difficult and extremely complicated, the Baby team shot in adverse conditions across the deserts of Abu Dhabi. Director Neeraj Pandey made effective use of the cutting age technology to capture the gritty action scenes in the film.
Baby has been generating phenomenal buzz since its trailer release and has upped the anticipation prior to its opening in cinemas. Talking about the use of this drone, DOP, Sudeep Chatterjee says, "Cutting-edge technology has expanded the imagination of filmmakers today. Virtually impossible live-action sequences are now achievable thanks to devices like the Octocopter. Neeraj and I were clear that we wanted a particular sequence in the desert to be as real as possible but the terrain did not permit the use of normal cameras. What we have achieved with the use of this drone was a revelation to all of us.”
No Songs in Akshay Kumar’s Baby
Director Neeraj Pandey continues to make films in a rather unconventional manner. The man responsible for some amazing thrillers has adopted a rather international approach to his forthcoming film, Baby, and decided to do away with the songs.
The director feels that a film's main purpose is to engage audiences into its story. Given that Baby is a slick, espionage thriller heavy on gruelling action sequences and stunts, a song was never required or appropriate. Some films do demand the usual song and dance routines but as directors continue to break from the norm and defy the stereotypic formula used in Bollywood, Indian films will definitely have a stronger international presence.
Bollywood starlet, Esha Gupta, goes 'Beparwah' for Akshay Kumar's Baby
While the forthcoming Baby will be a unique film with no songs, Bhushan Kumar's high-octane thriller has come up with a novel theme song. The track, titled Beparwah, reflects the theme of the film and is an ode to the attitude of its characters. The makers recently released the audio track, which is fast stirring a buzz on social media.
The gorgeous Esha Gupta, who represents sensuality and glamour that manifests itself in the tone and attitude of the film, shot for the theme song with the music composed by Meet Brothers. The song, which reminisces the various on-goings happening in one's country, underlines the attitude of the film and, as the makers of the film have stated, history is made by those who give a damn, for those who think selflessly and put country first. A highly stylised set was created especially for the theme song with two distinct looks – one a pristine, angelic white setting and the other a sensuous and mysterious play with darkness. Both looks are plush, accentuated and perfectly capture the mood of the song.
Pakistani actors, Mikaal Zulfiqar and Rasheed Naz, to feature in Baby
Baby will see Pakistani actors Mikaal Zulfiqar and Rasheed Naz in pivotal roles. While Naz who is well known for his work as Maulana Tahiri in the critically-acclaimed Khuda Key Liye will be playing a similar role in the film as ‘Maulana Abdul Rahman’, Zulfiqar's role in the film has been kept a surprise.
Zulfiqar has already worked on three projects in India, including Godfather, Shoot on Sight and U R My Jaan, while Naz will be making his debut in Bollywood with Baby. Shooting for the action-packed thriller was conducted worldwide, from Kathmandu and Istanbul to Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Delhi.
Gulshan Kumar presents Baby, a Neeraj Pandey film, a Crouching Tiger and Friday Filmworks production, produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shital Bhatia, Cape of Good Films and Crouching Tiger, releasing this Friday, 23 January and is distributed in the UK by Filmonix.
Are you looking forward to Baby? Let us know below!