After the success of Tiger Zinda Hai and Sultan, Salman Khan and Ali Abbas Zafar collaborated yet again for Bharat. Huge expectations were associated with the movie for obvious reasons, but the film does not fully match up to the hype.
Bharat (Salman Khan) as a kid loses his father (Jackie Shroff) and younger sister (Gudiya) due to riots during India-Pakistan partition. He along with his mother (Sonali Kulkarni) and other siblings manage to shift to India, but his father and younger sister go missing in the chaos. In his last words to Bharat, Jackie assures him that he will come back with Gudiya, and gives him the responsibility to take care of the family.
Little Bharat then starts doing every possible work – from shoe polishing to car washing, in order to sustain a livelihood for the family, while they take shelter in his aunt's home. Meanwhile, Bharat becomes friends with Vilayati Khan (Sunil Grover), and the two eventually become part of The Great Russian Circus.
Young and dashing Bharat is the main attraction of the circus, and Radha (Disha Patani), a trapeze artist in the same circus, is his love interest. Although Bharat and Vilayati were earning good money in it, the former decides to quit the risky job, and Vilayati being his best friend does the same.
With the discovery of oil in the Gulf region, Bharat and his friend join an Indian migration to the Middle East in the hope to earn quick money. There he finds Kumud (Katrina Kaif), a supervisor of the oil work, and it does not take much long for Bharat and her to fall in love with each other.
Bharat's life keeps taking unexpected turns, and eventually, he ends up working on Navy ships as well before taking charge of a small family business. A lot of drama and a bit of action keep unfolding, while Bharat and his family hold on to the hope of seeing their missing loved ones someday.
Salman Khan mostly keeps a straight face in his varied avatars, but he is impressive in the emotional scenes. The actor flaunts his acting ability well in one particular touchy moment towards the climax. Katrina Kaif has certainly grown as an actress. She is no longer just a glam doll.
Sunil Grover does not have a typical comic role in the film, but he keeps throwing subtle funny lines that add humour to the plot. Disha Patani does not have much to showcase her acting skills. Other supporting cast did a decent job.
Bharat is high in terms of emotional quotient. It very well depicts the plight of people from both sides, who lost their loved ones during the partition. Salman and Katrina's chemistry again sparks well. There are a few scenes that tickle your funny bones too. Songs are good.
Bharat loses its gravity when certain silly moments are inserted in the film for no good reason. The silliest sequence in the film shows African pirates, who hijack a ship, dancing on Amitabh Bachchan's songs, and they free all the hostages unhurt only because he is a fan of Hindi music.
The movie often gets sluggish, making it monotonous. Although the songs are good to listen, there are too many that disrupt the flow of the film. Overall, the film lacks the expected spark that we expect from a Salman film, especially directed by Ali.
Bharat is one film that you can watch once, but it won't be a loss even if you skip it. It is entertaining at certain parts, but it falls short of expectation in various other aspects. Overall, Bharat is just a little better than the average film.