Review by Sneha May Francis
The carat in your gold can’t ruin my character,” announces a moody man in black, just minutes into the movie, leaving you baffled at how inane that claim is, and almost certain that it’s pretty much downhill from there on.
And director Milan Luthria keeps that promise.
He collects men with muscles and women with great bodies and packs them off to the deserts of Rajasthan on the pretext of a thriller. But apart from loading the pack with guns, silly dialogues, and twisted personalities, and investing in the celebrated Sunny Leone’s raunchy moves and a ginormous truck, Luthria forgets he needs a story to fit them all in.
Instead, he obediently plays to the gallery and glorifies his macho men by parading them in slow-mo shots that are tuned to a blaring background score.
So, while the men get bloodied and indulge in fist fights and chase sequences, the women are made to glare, seduce and pout, and occasionally hold a gun.
At 136 minutes, it’s an exhaustive exercise in vanity, and cheap thrills.
Set during the 1975 emergency in India, Baadshaho is the story about the blue-blooded Gitanjali, who is forced to give away her royal treasures to the government. But she isn’t one to give up without a fight. In comes her trusted bodyguard, who along with his two friends and the queen’s loyal aide, is tasked to win back her gold.
However, just as they chalk out the perfect plan, a menacing military officer steps in to ruin the fun.
Ajay Devgn sticks to his black uniform and obediently wears a broody expression, without giving any depth or character to Bhawani. Even when he claims he lives life king size, you sense he’s bluffing. He finds the perfect match in Ileana D’Cruz who dresses Gitanjali in pearls and chiffons but never allows her personality to show. Though there’s a scene where she talks about the various layers to her personality, we get to see none of it onscreen.
And there’s Esha Gupta, who safely lets her wardrobe do the work. She sticks out like a sore thumb, when paired alongside Emraan Hashmi, who despite handed the kohl-smeared thug look, injects fun and madness into Bhawani’s rogue pal. From his quirky t-shirts (that announce ‘Free Love’ and ‘Night Lover’) he’s charming when he claims he’s the “king of hearts”.
But the star of the team is Sanjay Mishra. He’s delightful as the crazy Guruji, who finds humour in every situation, and who makes this mess of a film a tad tolerable. We only wish he found a movie befitting of his talent.
High on machoism and low on logic or reason, Baadshaho, unfortunately, remains a BAD SHOW.