Tiger Shroff on Baaghi 3: What matters to me is public word of mouth
Tiger Shroff along with Shraddha Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh, talk about the actions and emotions of their upcoming film Baaghi 3
Tiger Shroff was shaking off Bangkok goons in Baaghi (2016). In the second film, he leveled a malicious drug cartel in Goa. Now, in Baaghi 3, the enemy is an entire nation. “We’ve definitely scaled up,” Tiger says, speaking about Ronnie’s arrival in war-torn Syria, where his brother (Riteish Deshmukh) is held captive. The film, which takes its premise from the 2012 Tamil film Vettai, was shot across five countries. Portions of the middle-eastern nation were recreated in Mumbai. “If anything happens to my brother, I’ll wipe your country off the map,” Ronnie swears in the trailer. A bit much?
“It’s just a film,” Tiger reasons, “The intent was to show how much the characters are in love with each other. There’s so much bromance that this boy will do anything for his brother and go to any extent. So it’s just an outburst of his emotions.” The trailer also brought out military choppers, at least three enemy tanks and swirls of gunfire. Tiger’s fighting style is a mix of Kalaripayattu, Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Kick-boxing and Muay Thai. The actor also collaborated on the film’s stunt choreography, including the climactic desert battle.
“I'm lucky that my director (Ahmed Khan) is open to ideas,” Tiger says, “He would always ask me for inputs. For instance, we are fighting tanks in the movie. One doesn't really know how close one can run or what proximity to keep. We didn't even get a chance to rehearse, because the army had allotted the tanks for a limited period. So everything in regards to the tanks was choreographed on set.” The first installment in the franchise was based on The Raid: Redemption. Does Baaghi 3 also reference international action classics? “I don’t like gruesome action in my movies,” Tiger says, “I do action that children can watch. I like superheroes a lot. As you noticed, we have taken (ideas from) Spiderman and Wonder Woman.”
Tiger is unfazed by the critical reception of his movies. He says he’s cool with certain audiences being closed off to his brand of cinema. “I’ve never received a good review in my life. For me, what matters most is the public word of mouth. And box-office is important too. I feel action is a universal language. The highest-grossing films have been action films the world over.” That said, would he like to explore a completely different space in the future? “I'd love to do a musical like La La Land. I really like those holistic, full-package performers like Gene Kelly who would sing, dance and perform.”
Shraddha Kapoor had played the female lead in Baaghi. She was replaced by Disha Patani in Baaghi 2. The actor is back in the new installment, playing Ronnie’s love interest Siya. “It’s a character I’ve never played before,” Shraddha shares, “Her personality trait is really fun. She is energetic and she has a different way of communicating herself.” On the dispensability of female actors in franchise movies — male leads, most often, are retained — Shraddha agrees that it is a common attitude. “I think it's absolutely right (to say that). But I think whatever is meant to come to you eventually does. I feel if I'm cast in a particular film then there's something that I'll bring to the table that will add value. Sometimes, an actor may not want to do a certain film; that also happens.”
Baaghi 3 inducts Riteish Deshmukh into the franchise. His character, Vikram, is based on Madhavan’s character in Vettai. The 2012 film followed two brothers — one meek, the other roguish — as they fought off violent mobsters. Riteish says he was drawn to the emotional relationship at the centre of the film. “Most relationships in life are conditional,” he says, “But to have someone who will fight for you without asking a single question is truly special. Few people are lucky enough to have that kind of bonding.”
After Baaghi 3, Riteish will commence work on his Chhatrapati Shivaji trilogy. The historical epic is being helmed by Sairat director Nagraj Manjule. “I’ve been wanting to make this film for a long time, Riteish says, “I'm excited to collaborate with Nagraj, who is one of the finest directors we have in the country. We are working hard on the trilogy. Hopefully, it will go on floors soon.”