When Shilpa Shetty won the famous 'Big Brother' title in London, I think Sunny Deol was the first one to conceive an idea in his mind. I still remember the booklet that Sunny Deol's company had distributed when '23rd March 1931: Shaheed' was launched. The book had announced three movies at that time.
Apart from 'Shaheed' and one with Abhay, the third film was supposed to be 'Gandhi'. Then 'Shaheed' was released and bombed at the box office. 'Gandhi' was put on back burner because of financial crisis. They had just shot some scenes. The whole film was supposed to be shot in Chandni Chowk in Delhi. But Shaheed's debacle put Sunny Deol in a very big financial crunch.
Somehow he managed to get the film completed. Director Guddu Dhanoa managed to get the dates of other stars for his cousin Sunny Deol and they all changed the title of the film from 'Gandhi' to 'Big Brother'. But, little did they know that by whatever name you sell a product, if it is not worth, it will fall flat. 'Big Brother' is Sunny Deol's 'Gandhi' reworked. It starts right from where Sunny left his last innings.
Those days Sunny's Angry He Man image was a hit and the directors like Raj Kumar Santoshi and Rahul Rawail reaped huge benefits from this. But, now blood bath on the screen is a thing of the past. Boys and girls love to watch action 'Dhoom' style. Villains flying in the air are a rage down south but not in Hindi films any more.
So, when most of Hindi filmmakers are going in for a realistic look, Sunny Deol returns with a superman kind of film. Sunny Deol plays the role of a middle class man named Deodhar Gandhi. This Gandhi family is not from Porbandar but from national capital of Delhi.
Deodhar lives here with his family that includes younger brother (Imran Khan), mother (Farida Jalal) and sister. The problem starts with Deodhar's sister falling a prey to strong politician's son. And, later the whole family moves to Mumbai. The problem persists and the Mother India of today asks her son to take charge against the atrocities.
Deodhar Gandhi who until now was watching everything happening with folded hands, suddenly becomes a super man. He roams around the city and kicks the ass of every bad fellow. He targets each and every criminal and those who indulge in atrocities against women. He thrashes them, beats them and sometime even throws them out.
He is the new super hero of the town, but being in India the people call him Big Brother (Bade Bhaiya). After cleaning the city, he takes charge of reforming the system. The crusade reaches its penultimate when Deodhar shoots each and every person who is found to be a culprit; be it a would-be chief minister or a police commissioner. The sequence also shows mockery of news channels in India.
'Big Brother' is solely a Sunny Deol film and if it fails the blame has to fall on him.. He has been the key inspiration behind this film over the years. The film sees light of the day because of him only. Priyanka Chopra was a new comer then but now she is a bigger star that Sunny Deol in terms of prize command.
Deol and Chopra may get a decent opening in the North (especially Punjab) owing to Baisakhi festival, but God save this film in other parts of the country. Watching 'Big Brother', two things become very clear. One, Sunny Deol's prime time has passed and now he should not chase lead roles.
Time has come for him when he should tread the Jackie Shroff path. The second thing is more important in terms of film making in Mumbai. 'Big Brother' shows us how film-makers like Guddu Dhanoa ruin their career on their own. 'Big Brother' could have worked seven years back, but now in 2007, this type of film is a strict No, No. Even down south where these kinds of over-violent films are a fashion, things are changing.
Aamir is on the run. Salman's charisma is fading fast. Shah Rukh Khan is looking for excuses to make his show or film run. And remember all these stars are over 40 years. Sunny is in his early fifties. But, he wants to work like Richard Gere or Sean Connery. He should remember that he is working in Bollywood and not Hollywood. Sooner he understands this, better will it be for him.
In the whole film, Sunny doesn't look comfortable in his role. His get up and hair style keep changing. Even style of his jeans is a good study on changing fashion in India during the last seven years.
The film clearly gives look of a stale film. Acting has never been Sunny Deol's forte. His films have worked because of his killing looks and heavy actions. However, his age has started showing on his face. No matter whether he wears a beard or puts a bandana on his head, his decreasing hair line and increasing age lines tell it all. Priyanka Chopra, who almost provided no support in the publicity of the film, has no work to do.
She has been used like a beautiful prop in 'Big Brother' and she doesn't even get a chance to get humiliated as was the case of Shilpa Shetty in the reality show of the same name. Farida Jalal, Raju Shrivastava and even Prachi and Imran look dejected. The music of the film is also not very good.
Had there been some bhangra beats, the people of Punjab would have loved it. But, 'Luk Tunu Tunu' kind of songs doesn't work these days. Technically, the film is just above average, but falls much behind in the race of today's cinema. Action scenes are the worst; shot in scenes this year in this film, maybe the action choreographer was briefed so. Guddu Dhanoa must take a refresher course in filmmaking if he wants to stay in Bollywood before making any other film. Sunny, this film does not shine, please excuse us. On the whole, 'Big Brother' is a pass, better opt for Perfect Stranger if you like thrillers only.