Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bullett Raja  

Gun To The Head

Full disclosure: This critic walked out of the film in the intermission. It was noisy, pointless and particularly annoying because one has some hopes from Tigmanshu Dhulia.

From the way it was going, there was very little likelihood of the film improving dramatically after the interval.

So, here’s the review of the first half of Bullett (sic) Raja for whatever it’s worth.

Like so many of Dhulia’s films, this one too is set in Uttar Pradesh, a state with crumbling feudalism, unfettered crime and a rotting system.  It also means characters are louts who can’t pronounce ‘sh’ and ‘z’.  Raja Miss-ra (Saif Ali Khan) enters running, gatecrashes a wedding and befriends Rudra (Jimmy Sheirgill). Then the inevitable item number, a hideous one with Mahie Gill and some white women writhing around.

By the time Raja has flirted with the dancer and told her she is number 155, there is a shootout, and he is drawn into it because of the newfound friendship with Rudra.  And after this, the bullets just don’t stop flying – the film is called Bullett Raja, after all, and needs ear plugs to endure.  The goons who ordered the killing, ostensibly to grab Rudra’s uncle’s land to grow poppy, now attack Raja and Rudra. Between one thing and another, the end up as henchman of a crooked politician (Raj Babbar), who gives them carte blanche to go about killing whoever they please, as long as they do his bidding too.

There have been criminals as heroes in many films, but who could muster up interest in henchmen types, who go about killing with glee, treating it all as a joke. They are not even outlaws trying to pay back a violent system in its own coin. There isn’t any background to all this, and one is expected to know enough about UP caste politics to understand why Rudra, a man from an aristocratic family, would work as a courier, or why men like Raja are easily lured into crime after vehemently declaring “Gundagardi nahin karenge.”  Dhulia doesn’t offer any clues—just sets up the many shootouts with song and dance in between, and random sequences like a trip to Mumbai, just to groove in a disco.

Raja’s love interest is the Bengali girl Mitali (Sonakshi Sinha), who wants to be an actress and lands up in the hotel room of a slimy businessman (Gulshan Grover), offering him a chaste kiss on the cheek, but runs off with strangers Raja and Rudra without a thought. When in Mumbai her Bollywood ambitions never surface, and back in UP, she is content making Bengali food for the men. And Raja is told, with a wink, to “do it with eyes open.”  All of this not in the least entertaining. The second half has Vidyut Jammwal, from all accounts the best thing about this dud. Saif Ali Khan looks like he Agent Vinod in disguise—what’s with the waxed chest and floppy hair? At least Jimmy Sheirgill – a Dhulia regular—knows how to channel his inner UPwala.

Worse films have done well, so that is hardly the point, but give Tigmanshu Dhulia a star and a budget is this is the best he can do? The man who made Paan Singh Tomar reduced to Rowdy-ness?


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker