Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bajatey Raho: Review

Most great directors will tell you that the trick is to assume the audience is a step ahead. Of course, those of us fed on a steady diet of Bollywood have more realistic expectations. We’ll settle for not being viewed as ten-year-olds with short attention spans, which is how the makers of Bajatey Raho obviously see us. Maybe they aren’t that far off. Midway through the film, as plot holes filled with the steady rain of logical inconsistency and forced humour, we had the very childish urge to get up and say, “No more. We don’t like.”

What's an easy way to negate a dependable comic cast headed by Dolly Ahluwalia, Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak? Add a palpably confused Tusshar Kapoor to the mix. The foursome is out to get Sabharwal (Ravi Kishan), a crooked businessman whose ponzi scheme Ahluwalia’s husband inadvertently ran, and who died shortly after he was arrested for it. For some reason, the court orders Mummyji (Ahluwalia) and her son Sukhi (Kapoor) to pay the investors back their money. We expected a copy of Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less to turn up on screen at some point, but apparently the writers weren’t done consulting it.

We could forgive director Shashant Shah (Dasvidaniya, Chalo Dilli) if the cons pulled were inventive or unexpected, but Bajatey Raho’s plot twists can be seen from space. An uninspired script makes matters worse, forcing the actors to work hard and sell laughs that just aren’t there. Like so many Hindi movies nowadays, this one has half its dialogue in Punjabi, Bollywood’s new shorthand for insight into Delhi living. Yet, no one with the slightest feel for the city would ever use the drab Ansal Plaza as a shooting location. Our advice: stay home, re-watch Khosla Ka Ghosla and Special 26, and pray that Bajatey Raho was an attempt to rip these off and not Tower Heist.

This review appeared in Time Out Delhi.  

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