Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Bajatey Raho: Much ado about nothing
Ravi Kishan plays evil businessman Sabharwal, who owns everything from schools to dairy farms and treats his staff like dirt.
When Sabharwal frames two of his employees in an illegal fixed deposit scheme, their families vow to exact revenge. They plan to extract every penny Sabharwal robbed from his customers so that they can return the money to the victims and restore the reputations of their loved ones.
Led by the formidable Mummyji (played with panache by Dolly Ahluwalia), the gang — her son Sukhi (Tusshar Kapoor), his friend Ballu (Ranvir Shorey), Sukhi’s girlfriend Manpreet (Vishakha Singh) and Mintoo (Vinay Pathak) — goes about extorting money from Sabharwal’s associates, either blackmailing or conning them.
Shah doesn’t necessarily have a new subject in hand, but he could have told this old story in a newer, smarter way. Unfortunately, this film goes all over the place from the first scene, one that involves a gun-wielding school principal.
The jokes aren’t funny, the dialogue is flat and in spite of being a relatively short two-hour film, it feels like the movie goes on for far too long.
Instead of focussing on making a smart, tight film, the director meanders at the most crucial points, inserts an insipid love story, unnecessary songs and long, drunken monologues that test your patience.
There are loopholes the size of potholes in the film, but even more lacklustre are the performances. Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey sleepwalk through their roles, while Tusshar Kapoor does a worse job of speaking Punjabi than Farhan Akhtar in “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”.
Ahluwalia is the only saving grace in what is otherwise a minefield of bad performances.
When a two-hour film feels like an ordeal, you know something is wrong. “Bajatey Raho” is a forgettable film that is best avoided.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)