At the time that Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor starrer ‘Bodyguard’ released I was in Kerala and though the film had a release here, I would not really watch it in a theatre as I was nowhere near the cities where it released (was busy exploring rural Kerala.) Twitter told me that the film was doing really well and that it was originally made in Malayalam. So during my visit to Thrissur, when I found a DVD of Bodyguard in Malayalam directed by Siddique starring Dileep and Nayantara I was tempted to give it a go. I wanted to watch the original before the remake unlike what happened with Gajjani or Wanted (I got a chance to watch the Hindi versions first and then the Tamil ones, which were the originals.)
The title role in ‘Bodyguard’ is that of Jaikrishnan who has an obsessive angle to his personality - his adoration for any person takes obsessive leaps always and ends up in him moving in and around that person like a bodyguard. The plot starts with Jaikrishnan developing adoration for a Business Tycoon, Ashokan, and becoming his bodyguard turns into Jaikrishnan’s life ambition. He somehow manages to get a reference letter from a person whose request Ashokan cannot refuse. Though Ashokan has no requirement of a bodyguard, Jaikrishnan manages to become a bodyguard in the Ashokan’s house after some heroic attempts. But though he wanted to become Ashokan’s bodyguard, he is made his daughter, Ammu’s, bodyguard and out of adoration for Ashokan, Jaikrishnan agrees. Jaikrishnan follows Ammu and her friend Sethulakshmi everywhere they go – college, classroom, canteen, loo, just about everywhere – in typical Bodyguard attire: safari suits, aviators et al. The girls grow tried of this embarrassing scenario and to divert Jaikrishnan’s attention Ammu starts calling him as a ‘fake lover’ from her number, which is a Private Number. Their scheme of diverting his attention works as Jaikrishnan starts falling in love with this mysterious girl and is constantly looking to find her. What started as a joke turns serious as Ammu falls for Jaikrishnan, realising the good heart in him through the phone conversations they have been having as - the fake lover and the bodyguard. Finally as the fake lover Ammu tells Jaikrishnan that they should elope the day their college closes but Ashokan comes to know of their plan. Asokan comes to know that Jaikrishnan is running away with Ammu; while Jaikrishnan knows that he is running away with ‘fake lover’. This whole story is a flashback read by Jaikrishnan’s son in a diary left to him by his mother Sethulakshmi. The climax is the present day situation where widower Jaikrishnan and his son visit an ailing Ashokan and find Ammu still unmarried at her house.
This movie by far, amongst the recent Malayalam films that I watched, barring Salt & Pepper, had the most interesting storyline. Though there was an angle from Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the climax is what worked for me. Performances were strictly ok. Dileep could have infused much more life into the character. I am definitely watching the Hindi one, can clearly see Salman Khan rocking the character of Jaikrishnan as Lovely Singh. Tightly edited, well directed, compact entertainer though performances could have spiced the script up more.
Hope bollywood had spiced up things more and if I get a chance want to watch the Tamil remake Kaavalan starring Vijay too. Would be an interesting case study - same story, same director, different actors and the outcomes!!
Rating: 3.5/ 5