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Badshaho  : Bad Show
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Friday, September 1, 2017
Action
Milan Luthria
Ajay Devgn, Ileana D'Cruz, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Vidyut Jamwal, Sunny Leone, Sanjay Mishra, Denzil Smith, Ravi Kale

What a let-down from Luthria-Devgn-Hashmi and Arora, the foursome that once made a fine Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.

 

This time, there’s a Sanjay Gandhi and the Emergency again as a backdrop. But it’s Rani Gitanjali from Rajasthan who’s the Queen Bee around whom a heist is pulled off.

 

By her bodyguard and lover Bhawani Singh. Seems the Sanjay Gandhi look-alike called Sanjeev, coveted the Rani and when thwarted, coveted her gold and threw her into jail instead. The army led by brawn man Major Seher Singh will transport the gold to Sanjeev who rules Delhi. But the Rani has Bhawani lined up to intercept it and deliver it to her. Breaking jail and flying out of the country even during the Emergency is a doll’s game for the Rani.

 

With romance, robbery and a Rani, the plot had immense potential where palace intrigue could’ve been threaded into a thriller for a fast-paced adventure with twists and turncoats.

 

But writer Rajat Arora turns it into a road show with the pace as lethargic as Devgn’s drawl. And bawl, with so much brawn there’s hardly any brawl.

 

Director Milan Luthria does throw in a twist at interval point to bring you back to the seat. But since the story turns immediately thereafter, the rest of the ride changes all the interesting characters into caricatures. At the theatre where I saw it, the scenes immediately after interval even had a shabby lip sync problem.

 

Badshaho does start off interestingly enough withBhawani collecting his team. Guruji played by a perfect Sanjay Mishra, is an ace at opening locks. Emraan Hashmi as playboy Dalia is the back-up man who’s as active with guns as he is with his groin. And he gets duly introduced with a Sunny Leone item number that is so old world without the charm.

 

Miss Duck Lips alias Esha Gupta is Sanjana, the fourth in the team, a Gitanjali loyalist, whose contribution is well, her lips and her lingerie.

 

But with all the good entries and a few cheesy dialogues that Milan puts together, there are roadblocks in plenty. Firstly, as mentioned before, with the great betrayal revealed at mid-point, Bhawani Singh’s mission loses steam. Secondly, with vulnerable heroines turning vamps and good muscle men into villains, the story doesn’t move with any character. Thirdly, showing only half a scene to mislead the viewer and then completing the picture in the climax to spring a surprise is not clever writing. Fourthly, what a weak climax. In the film, Bhawani keeps drawling, ‘Kahani badalta hoon main’. I wish he really had.

 

The performances too are inconsistent. Ajay Devgn’s exaggerated Rajasthani accent comes and goes at will. Vidyut Jammwal is ill at ease wandering into Emraan Hashmi’s territory. Emraan himself isn’t in his element with having so little to do. Ileana D’Cruz who has the meatiest role doesn’t have the range to swiftly shift gear.

 

For a thriller that has neither brilliant brawn work nor brain work, Badshaho gets a 2* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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