Baadshaho: A lesson on how not to make a heist film
Movie Review by Anand Kumar Jha (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
What was Milan Luthria thinking when he made Baadshaho? Clearly, nothing on the lines of creating a story with some logic or even remotely intriguing film, for that matter. Baadshaho is supposed to be a heist movie set in a semi urban milieu in Rajasthan. A good heist film needs a great plan, execution steps and eventually reflect the aftermath of the plan. Baadshaho has none of these elements.
The film shows Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D’Cruz), a royal heir, whose jewellery and gold is seized by the government during the Emergency period of 1975. The Ranisa (as she is addressed by others) is also sentenced to serve jail time owing to orders from Sanjeev (Priyanshu Chatterjee in a cameo), a powerful politician of the era. Of course, the uncanny resemblance to Sanjay Gandhi is not coincidental at all! And believe it or not he is shown to take this decision because he was spurned by Gitanjali once. One would believe that there is a reason to bring in a known politician’s look-alike in the plot or draw in the Emergency period reference. But there is none. It is just one of the many strands that are left loose and remains unanswered. Priyanshu performs his part pretty well and then disappears completely from the plot.
Clearly, Gitanjali is in trouble and seeks the help of Bhawani Singh(Ajay Devgn), his trusted aid and ex-bodyguard to get her gold back from the government authorities. Bhawani agrees and creates his own team to carry out the heist. It consists of a master lockpicker Tikla (Sanjay Mishra), who’s inebriated most of the time; Dalia(Emraan Hashmi), a close friend of Bhawani and Sanjana ( Esha Gupta), who is part of the gang because she wants to help Gitanjali, whose family had helped her out in an adverse situation. The foursome make plans to get back the Queen’s gold. The difficult job to transport the gold to Delhi is given to Major Seher Singh (Vidyut Jammwal), an honest army man. While the characters are shown to have their own idiosyncrasies and traits, none of them come together to create a riveting plot. The screenplay is weak and dodgy.
Talking about acting performances, the best out of the lot is definitely, character actor Sanjay Mishra, who provides the much-needed comic relief. An aged drunk with a great sense of life blended with humour is portrayed perfectly by Mishra. Ajay Devgn has always been a good actor and to be fair, he does his part pretty well but he can’t do much to salvage the wafer-thin plot. Emraan Hashmi as the Dalia is shown as a roadside romeo is stereotyped. One would feel they have seen him in similar roles before. Ileana fails to impress as the lead. She’s presented as a diabolic character but her character is not well-etched and as a result, Ileana doesn’t get to perform well. Esha Gupta plays an eye candy, who hardly twitches a muscle on her face throughout the film. Her flirting scene with Emraan Hashmi are unwarranted and border on plain irritating.
Vidyut Jammwal manages to make an impact and has time and again, shown promise. Time to give him better scripted roles. Also a special mention to actor Sharad Kelkar, who plays a menacing cop, whose only aim is to catch hold of Bhawani and get rewarded by the government. He is shown to be ruthless and shrewd and completely in character. Even Sunny Leone’s item song fails to steam things up and is absolutely forgettable. Coming to think of it, the music throughout the film is not its strong point, except the hit Mere Rashke Qamar.
Luthria has made his mark with films like The Dirty Picture and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. This is definitely not one of his best films.