Director Milan Luthria and Writer Rajat Arora who gave few amazing films like Taxi Number 9211 (2006), Hattrick (2007), Once Upon A Time In Mumbai (2010) and The Dirty Picture (2011) are back again after the debacle of their last film, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara (2013). Both of them have catered the needs of the audience and their own in an interesting way, for example Taxi Number 9211 was a splendid mixture of masala ingredients in its own commercial yet experimental way. “Baadshaho” is a king film as the name suggests, and its king size grandeur is its perk.
Set in Rajasthan amidst Emergency, when a group of thugs plan a heist to loot the truck in which the gold of Princess Geetanjali (Ileana D’Cruz) is confiscated and transported to Delhi by road. The Screenplay is well-drafted giving ample space to the character introduction and back stories. Though it is usual in a way, expected events take place still it keeps piling up to an interesting level. The planning of heist is one such interesting narrative. The narrative which keeps moving back and forth at times, doesn’t get tedious at all. The mystery and the facets which unfold slowly are insightful and believable.
The most touching and applauding (yes, the audience cheered to that unfold enthusiastically) is of Ajay Devgn’s character. “Woh Army Hai Toh Kya? Hum Harami Hai”says his character- such punch dialogues are sure shot catching the audience and feels like specially written for single screen theaters. The make-believe world is something you buy to an extent till it gets blurred. The periodical setting other than vintage cars and royal houses is out of place. I guess only the usage of those both combinations doesn’t take you into that period. And the use of Emergency period is quite unnecessary as the story would have been fitted in today’s time very well. The most effective part of the film is its latter second half where the things began to cook deliciously and smell good. Interestingly or disappointingly, the film has no climax- the climax went into that storm, did it? (still thinking…)The forced songs are out of sync of the narrative while the background score by John Stewart Eduri is bang on and raging the pace of the film.
Special Mention for the female Cinematographer Sunita Radia who has framed film excellently with breath-taking shots. The crisp editing by Aarif Sheikh is another excellent technical badge while the VFX are cheap. The film never has a dull moment; it sets up everything quickly and takes us on a high dusty ride in the ruins and desert of Rajasthan. The action sequences are too clichéd and filmy taking much liberty, for an instance before the interval, the thugs have an encounter with the Army and the Army who just fought the epic War 4 years ago (1971) loses stupidly. Seriously? Is the Indian Army so lame losing to four people?
Ajay Devgn holds the film tightly and gives a fine performance with his insomniac expressions. Emraan Hashmi is good but has nothing exceptional to do other than dancing with Sunny Leone, flirting with Esha Gupta and few funny dialogues. His character looks out of place and his costumes don’t fit the period, he wears a sleeveless shirt with “chora” and “free love”. Ileana D’Cruz is the beauty and the beast as the Princess; she gives a phenomenal performance when she has no dialogues to deliver. Vidyut Jamwal is the action hero and gives an adrenaline performance while Sanjay Mishra gives a comic-relief (he does steal the show, umm..maybe).
Overall, it’s a desi adrenaline injection which will infuse and diffuse at times but the ingredients are so delicious that the ensemble makes it look good.
Release: 1 September, 2017
Director: Milan Luthria
Copyright ©2017 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.