By Team Bollyy
New Update

2017 had been waiting for one totally paisa-wasool action-thriller. It seems like Baadshaho has answered these prayers. The film sees the third reunion of writer Rajat Arora and director Milan Luthria, who had earlier partnered on The Dirty Picture and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. Their trademark of slick one liners and supercharged flamboyance is present throughout the film.

With a stellar cast of Ajay Devgn, Ileana D'Cruz, Emraan Hashmi, Vidyut Jammwal, Esha Gupta and Sanjay Mishra in lead roles, the film is a roller-coaster of twists and turns set in the desert state of Rajasthan during the 1975 Emergency.

Story: A controversial political leader portrayed by Priyanshu Chatterjee, whose resemblance to Sanjay Gandhi is uncanny, has a personal vendetta against a certain Rajasthani royal. And thus, Gitanjali Devi, played by Ileana, becomes the target of political forces who want to seize her privy purse (a concept that was abolished for the royals after 1971). But how the princess, who is the exact opposite of the delicate chiffon saris she wears, masterminds a plan to get back the wealth with the help of her confidantes, makes up the rest of the story.

We have Ajay Devgn as Bhawani, the princess's head of personal security and lover, who is made incharge of the operation. He hires a team of badasses to accomplish the task—Daliya (Emraan Hashmi), the ladies man, Guruji (Sanjay Mishra) who is the best locksmith one can find, and of course Gitanjali's sidekick, Sanjana (Esha Gupta). The truck carrying Gitanjali's treasure is being protected by Major Seher Singh (Vidyut Jamwal) and the team of thugs has 96 hours in 600 km of open desert to accomplish their task.

Performances: It's hard to find a film where someone can overshadow Ajay Devgn, but Sanjay Mishra and Emraan Hashmi have done it this time. Mishra has outdone himself with his stellar performance and dialogue delivery, and once again proved that Indian cinema needs more performers like him. Emraan Hashmi is a pleasure to watch in the massy 'chichora' avatar, especially for his sense of comic timing. Meanwhile, Devgn's act, although enticing, wasn't his best till date. With past performances to look at, the audience expects a lot more out of the actor. Ileana D’Cruz's act as princess Gitanjali is befitting and convincing, but it is right there in her comfort zone. It is time the actress started taking up roles that don't portray her as the damsel in distress. Esha Gupta is gorgeous and lights up the screen every time she comes on, but not enough weightage has been given to her character, making her get lost in the sea of actors. Vidyut Jammwal is another performer who gets overshadowed.

Writing and Direction: Considering we see Luthria and Rajat Arora partnering up again, it comes as no surprise that the film has some of the best dialogues this year. Not all of the characters, however, have been written in depth. For example Ajay's character is very linear in his approach—always intense but living life king size. Esha Gupta's character has also not been paid attention to. The audience is left wondering about her past, where she came from etc. But Emraan and Sanjay Mishra's characters come as a breath of fresh air with their lighter side adding some depth to the action adventure film. Ileana is also endearing as Gitanjali and has several noteworthy moments in the film, making her shine. Milan Luthria's direction, as usual, is on point. Scene after scene, the film keeps you on edge and of course there is that trademark touch of grandeur with the action sequences and songs. The climax, however, could've been more structured and the last 10 minutes easily curtailed. It does tend to stretch a little towards the end.

Screenplay and Editing: Set up in Rajasthan, the film is a visual treat—be it the action sequences or chase scenes—despite not being shot in exotic locales. The low light shots are especially appealing and don't make your head go for a toss trying to figure out what actually is going on. With the fast paced story line, the editing is crisp and exactly what an action-thriller needs. The cinematography has been done by Sunita Radia and editing by Aarif Sheikh.

Music: The film doesn't have a lot of typical Bollywood dance numbers. The songs are intertwined with the story, making the soundtrack a lot more interesting than most films we've seen so far this year. The background score is responsible for adding half the thrill to the film. The soundtrack has been composed by Tanishk Bagchi, Ankit Tiwari, R.D. Burman, Abhijit Vaghani and Komail Shayan.

If you love action films and don't have great affinity to any particular actor, this multi-starrer is right up your alley. But even if you're not all that, this one is a masala film that will definitely fulfill the need of being your weekend dose for entertainment. For me, Baadshaho rates 3.5/5


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