Sep 012017

Ajay Devgn and Ileana D'CruzAjay Devgn and Ileana D’Cruz

U/A: Action, thriller
Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Vidyut Jammwal

First things first, a heist film needs to be clever, engaging and as a result, entertaining. On these very counts, Baadshaho fails miserably. Set during the Emergency period in India, the film starts off with a confrontation between Rani Geetanjali (Ileana D’Cruz) and a politician, Sanjeev (Priyanshu Chatterjee), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Sanjay Gandhi. When Sanjeev orders the royal ‘khazana’ to be transported from Rajasthan to Delhi, Rani Geetanjali smells something fishy. Not one to be outdone, she turns to her lieutenant and lover Bhawani (Ajay Devgn) to rob the truck carrying the ‘khazana’.

Enter the gang who will pull off the heist – Daliya (Emraan Hashmi) whose t-shirts have quotes like ‘free love’ and ‘night special’ just to make sure that his character’s flirtatious streak is established, Guruji (Sanjay Mishra), a drunkard who is expert at picking locks and Sanjana (Esha Gupta) who works with Rani. We also have Seher (Vidyut Jammwal) who has his own reasons to join the motley group.

Director Milan Luthria doesn’t waste any time in kickstarting the cat-and-mouse game. And that is where part of the problem lies. The film has very little to offer post interval, and predictable screenplay plays the biggest spoiler. The corny dialogues only add to the misery. Sample these – when Sanjana tells Bhawani how they may be outnumbered by the army protecting the treasure, he says, ‘Woh army hai, toh hum harami hai.’ Or while flirting with Sanjana, Daliya says, ‘Sharam aur main ek sentence main nahi aate.’

Watch ‘Baadshaho’ trailer:[embedded content]

Coming to the actors, Devgn has the same set of expressions – just this time around, it feels as if the intensity that is synonymous with him, has mellowed. While Hashmi and Jammwal are commendable, the surprise package is Mishra who walks away with some of the best lines in the film. D’Cruz has little to do besides looking gorgeous in her chiffon sarees. As for Gupta, wonder what made her agree to portray the inconsequential role.

In its runtime of 136 minutes, the film feels longer than it should. The ending is so simplistic, it’s almost laughable. It is a case of how a good ol’ masala entertainer, which otherwise could have been an enjoyable affair thanks to its action sequences and some seeti maar dialogues, has gone wrong – once again, reiterating the importance of sharp writing in a thriller.

Far from an exciting film that would have me glued to my seat, this one made me look for the nearest exit to run. Instead of Baadshaho, one could well call it ‘Bhaag jao’.

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