Remember Salman from the days of 'Bandhan', 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun', 'Hum Saath Saath Hai' etc. where he could do nothing wrong and was always there for his loved ones? Not just that as he spoke every word only after going through it in his mind and never once mouthed anything that could be offensive to anyone, be it the ones known or unknown to him.
When the film begins, it seems like a regular love story in the making. Salman is hired by Kareena's father (Raj Babbar) to protect her from feudal enemies (Mahesh Manjrekar, Aditya Pancholi, Chetan Hansraj). Of course it is known from beginning till the end that this band-of-brothers would be beaten to the pulp and Salman won't allow a single scratch on Kareena's body. However beneath the exterior of this action packed setting, there is a delicate love story in the running that reminds one of the soft-hearted Salman that one saw once during the 90s.
Off late due to his 'Dabangg', 'Wanted' and 'Ready' image, one expects him to throw smart one liners at every juncture and be his goofy best with ample funny antics at display. However he takes a turn which is quite pleasant to say the least. This means that even when he is following around Kareena in her college or trying to find the identity of the mysterious caller who is trying to woo him over the phone, one never sees him indulging into any buffoonery.
Instead of focusing the film on Salman's screen presence and presenting him in a way his audience wants, writer-director Siddique lets the story do all the talking. For Kareena too it becomes a good enough platform to showcase her true calibre as an actor, especially after relatively much light hearted '3 Idiots' and 'Golmaal 3'. With 'Bodyguard', and especially during the second half of the film, she reiterates loud and clear all over again the reason why she has been ruling from the top for so long.
Does the movie show a dip anywhere? Not really though one does feel during the first half of the film at least that there is quite some time being spent on the entire build up. Also, the mischief around mystery calls seems a little too simplistic considering neither Salman nor Kareena can be expected to get into such childish pranks. Also Kareena's initial annoyance with Salman seems a litte unjustified considering they had hardly met and the man was just doing his job. Moreover Salman's reference to Raj Babbar as 'Maalik' seems out of place in today's times.
Technically the film is reasonably polished, especially during the action sequences though due to it's overall simplistic nature, 'Bodyguard' hasn't been presented as an overtly flamboyant experience. Songs have been placed well in the film though eventually it is the sound of Himesh Reshammiya's 'Teri Meri' stay on with you long after you are through watching the film, more so because it also forms the part of the background score.
Amongst actors, while Salman and Kareena shine in their parts, the only other actor whom you actually take home is Hazel. Present in almost every scene with Kareena, she is much more than just her supporting buddy. Raj Babbar just passes muster while one wishes there was more of Pancholi. Mahesh Manjrekar is surprisingly out of place this time around and so is the case with Asrani and Sharat Saxena.
Talking from commercial standpoint, word in the town is that 'Bodyguard' can' go wrong because of one major reason - 'Salman wave is on'. Oh yes, of course that's true. But then can just a wave be good enough for a film to sail through? Not really, because all said and done, it's an overall package that matters as well. In that context, 'Bodyguard' is pretty much a package deal in the offering. It has ample masala in it to keep Salman's core audience happy. But then it also has a soul to it that comes from Salman-Kareena love story.