Movie Review: Banjo

Banjo:  Music which could have been Better

banjo-movie

Banjo Movie Review

Ravi Jadhav after his successful stint in Marathi films with Natrang, Balgandharva, Balak Palak, Timepass & Timepass 2, debuts in Bollywood with “Banjo”. Such a high profile director the expectations of “Banjo” automatically go sky high….

“Banjo” tells the story of 4 guys from the slum Tarrat (Ritesh Deshmukh), who works for the local politican as an extortionist, but his heart  is in playing the Banjo, Grease (Dharmesh) a local mechanic but his heart is in playing the drum, Paper a local newspaper wala who plays the Dhol and the other guy who plays the tasha, they have a small band and they play in local Ganpati, Navratri or marriage party, till they are discovered by Luke (Luke Kenny) who records one of their performance and send it to his friend Chris (Nargis Fakhri) in New York. She gets so impressed with the music that she decides to come to Mumbai and search for the group and record two singles for a international Contest…Is Chris able to find the group and whether her dream gets fulfilled is what the movie is all about…

Written by Ravi Jadhav himself along with Kapil Sawant & Nikhil Mehrotra, the story and screenplay is an amalgamation of too many sub plots which has no bearing with the main story, and that is the problem as the movie takes the entire first half to set up the story and the second half drags on unnecessary melodrama. The intrinsic problem with the writing is that it is flat throughout and it never peaks neither in pace nor in emotional quotient. The sub plots hamper the pace and the weak characterization and low EQ makes the movie too boring. The characters other than the principal 4 characters which are still well written, rest are too flat without any depth. Sometimes you feel that the comedy has been an afterthought. The dialogues do not help as well, other than the tapori lingo other dialogues sound too banal. Where the writing scores is capturing the struggle and tribulation of the slum dwellers with humour…

Ritesh Deshmukh time and again has tried to prove that he is just not an actor who is good at comedy but as a serious actor he has potential, what with Naach, Ek Villain and Lai Bhaari previously; in “Banjo” he tries again and comes out in flying colours with his sincere performance of Tarrat. Dharmesh Yelande as Grease again proves that he is not only a good dancer but a good actor as well, but somewhere he is getting type cast in a tapori character. Other two actors who played Paper and the Tasha player, unfortunately nothing has been written about them, but they also do a good job. Nargis Fakhri as usual adds the glamour quotient but surprisingly she shows some acting chops in playing the character Chris, but I feel still she needs to go along way. Luke Kenny as the firang music arranger does a good job, good to see him after a long hiatus, we saw him last in “Rock On”. Mohan Kapoor as the club owner Nair does what he does well, mouthing hindi in English accent and somehow his swagger suits the role for a change.

“Banjo” which is based on music, hence we expected some good music what with Vishal Shekhar at the helm, but sadly other than 2 songs “Bappa” and the breezy “Udan Choo” other songs are more of cacophony, even the lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya is average.

Manoj Lobo’s camera work is the most impressive; the contrast of the slum vis-a-vis the high rise buildings is very well captured…

As I mentioned earlier “Banjo” being Raj Jadhav’s debut in Bollywood my expectations were high, but he disappoints, and that to in a department which has been his strength in his previous movies, the wrting. Story & Screenplay falls flat from the word go. Though I must mention that Raj captures the spirit of slum very well and quite realistically but in the bargain fails to tell an impactful story. But I have not lost hope and will await Raj Jadhav’s next Bollywood offering..

“Banjo” had a brilliant idea but somewhere the execution on paper as well as on the Big screen lacked the punch…I will go with Two and a Half stars….

Movie Rating: (2.5 / 5)

 

Movie Review : Pink

Pink: The New Color of Women’s Liberation

“PINK” as the name suggests is a woman centric theme. But it is far removed from the fun & frolic that you normally associate to the color “PINK”, it is the story of struggles and tribulation of an average Indian women of today…

“PINK” tells the story of three working girls Minal Arora (Tapsee Pannu), Falak Ali (Kirti Kulhari) and Andrea (Andrea Tariang) who stay together in PG accommodation in Delhi. Their life takes a 360 degree pink-movieturn when one night they fall prey to a gang of guys comprising of Rajveer (Angad Bedi), Dumpy (Raashul Tandon) and Vishwa (Tushar Pandey) who take them to a resort at Surajkund and there they try to be physical with them and Minal ends up breaking a glass bottle on Rajveer, post which the girls flee. Next how their lives change for the worst is what the movie is all about…

Written by Ritesh Shah, this court room drama is an interesting watch thanks to the taut script. Ritesh keeps the screenplay very straight and to the point, not digressing a wee bit from the main plot which keeps the audience completely engrossed till the end. Each character especially of the three girls are sculpted with immense minuteness and complete precision. The character of advocate Deepak Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) is like a foil on the young helpless girls, I wish Ritesh would have given a bit peep on the Deepak Sehgal’s past but nevertheless the character is so strongly written that it over powers other characters completely.Ritesh does not waste time on clichés and keeps it as realistic as possible. Another character which also impresses throughout, is the character of the defense lawyer played by Piyush Mishra, rather the war of words between Deepak Sehgal and the defense lawyer make the court room proceedings interesting. Another thing which would have made the movie more interesting if Ritesh would have also shown how Deepak Sehgal does his investigation for the case. But overall brilliant writing.

Ritesh Shah’s dialogues lifts the screenplay, especially the court room sequence. The dialogues are taut and gives a message without being preachy. The dialogues have been painstakingly written keeping in mind the character who would say the dialogues making it sound as realistic as possible.
In a nutshell the real hero of the movie is the writing…

Good writing can go down the drain if it is not backed up with some good performances. Amitabh Bachchan as Deepak Sehgal the aging advocate gives a crackling performance, especially in the court room sequences. I must say Amitabh Bachchan is having a blast in his career at this age, first “Piku”, then “Teen” and now “Pink”, all three movies have tapped his potential as an actor to the fullest and you can feel as an audiences that even he is enjoying it….Next actor who impresses and stands high in front of Amitabh Bachchan is Piyush Mishra as the defense lawyer, who successfully makes you hate him, and that I think is no mean task…Piyush Mishra’s verbal war fare with Amitabh’s character are the highlight sequences of the movie. Now the three girls played by Tapsee Pannu as Minal, Kirti Kulhari as Falak and Andrea Tariang as Andrea, all the three do a splendid job but Tapsee Pannu steals the show with her portrayal. After her brief role in “Baby”, Tapsee again shows that she is an actress who should not be taken lightly. Kirti’s character starts as a timid character but later blooms and how, especially her emotional breakdown scene in the court just takes your heart away, definitely a brilliant actress, I hope Kirti gets more opportunities in this glamour stuck Bollywood who give Smita Patil Award to Katrina Kaif (Are we kidding???). Debutant Andrea Tariang has a brief role and not too much of histrionics but her silence says it all and the looks portrays the pathos which a page long dialogue would not justify. Angad Bedi as the spoilt brat Rajveer does his mean act well, though not a longish role but Angad justifies his presence completely. Dhritiman Chaterjee as the judge also does a brilliant job, and brings a meat to a role which in other movie is only confined to saying “Order, Order”. Other actors like Mamta Shankar (Good to see her in a Bollywood Movie), Rushal Tandon, Tushar Pandey, Vijay Verma and Vinod Nagpal also do a brilliant job. Overall the cast justifies the writing to the “T”.

It is said that editing “Makes” or “Breaks” a movie and in “Pink”, Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing makes the movie taut without any once of sluggishness. Abhik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography captures vibrancy of Delhi and the grimness of a court room with equal élan.

Now let us talk about the “Captain” of the ship Aniruddha Roy Choudhury, who debuts in Bollywood with “PINK”. After some brilliant movies in Bengali like “Anuranan” & “Antaheen”, Aniruddha does an equally impressive debut with “PINK”. “PINK” not only entertains but also raises a lot of pertinent questions which are like a taboo for a working women, especially if she lives alone, and Aniruddha has very beautifully portrayed a modern day woman and her struggles in a modern yet feudal society of today’s India. Two things that Aniruddha scores as a director, first being straight forward and completely glued to the main plot without falling prey for typical Bollywood trappings and secondly extracting some memorable performances by the entire cast.

A truly brilliant cinema which should not be missed, I will go with Four and a Half stars…

Movie Rating: (4.5 / 5)