After everybody has had their machismo moments, Sanjay Dutt (Policegiri, 2013) and Saif Ali Khan are late entrants to the mega club.
We’re talking about the south style magnanimous films which gave blue-chip returns to Salman Khan (Wanted – 2007, Dabangg – 2010, Dabangg 2 – 2012), Ajay Devgan in Singham (2011), and the Shahrukh Khan record breaker, Chennai Express.
This time though, Saif Ali Khan, totally revamped from Bond’s Agent Vinod (from the 2012 film of same title) to rustic Raja Misra doing a lot of Sharp Shooting (forget your H when you enter this territory, it’s their Special English dialect) gains little advantage.
Raja crashes into a marriage celebration to save him from chasing goons (a routine in the land where he lives so no explanation/flashback is needed) and meets Rudra, a like minded friend played by Jimmy Shergill.
The duo become unlikely heroes with their so far untested talent, and form a Jay-Viru gang (Sholay, 1975), beginning a saga of success summed up by the line, ‘Raja aur Rudra sab ke Viruddh (Raja and Rundra against everyone)’.
What happens when their reign is challenged by a league of extraordinary opponents including a powerful politician, billionaire business tycoon and deadly hitman? Well, continue watching the never ending episodes of violence to find out.
|Is there any? It could be called the story of a maverick in the dusty and fiery backdrop of Uttar Pradesh politics, but it hardly interests anybody and raises no curiosity.|
|Saif Ali Khan disappoints if you expected another ‘Langda Tyagi’ (Omkaara, 2007), Jimmy does a good job, the others just hang in while Vidhyut is wasted.|
|The biggest setback is direction, Dhulia’s work succeeds in totally disconnecting viewers and earning their discontent.|
|The makers create a very realistic UP and maintain standards till the end just like Tigmanshu's earlier flicks Sahab Biwi aur Gangster 1 and 2. Fight and chasing scenes are shot well and won’t let you fall asleep.|
|Sajid-Wajid produce their very characteristic music. Except the title, all songs are passable, RDB’s single qualifies for a cool party song.|
|Those (including me) going to cinemas to see it as another rugged up Tigmanshu Dhulia blockbuster will be hugely disappointed, it’s not another Agent Vinod but doesn’t do much better either. Review Scores by Saurin Shah.|
All things seem fine with the movie, good actors, and a director with expertise in the subject and top class production. But sadly all this put together can’t make the movie work. The problem lies in the level of disconnect you develop right after the first half hour.
The way it has been directed makes you so indifferent to the events that you hardly care about what happens to whom and care little to wonder what’s going to happen next. I was personally chatting on my phone during the movie and I didn’t even have to tell my friends that I was in a cinema hall.
Direction and cinematography is good in parts, especially the action sequences which are filmed very well and as an exception to rest of the movie.
You can’t take your eyes away during Saif’s chasing scene at the building construction where he throws a brick at the goon and of course the whole fight sequence involving Vidhyut Jammwal as we all know his marital arts is truly electrifying (in Hindi “Vidhyut” means Electricity!).
It’s the pace of the movie and screenplay that irks you as a viewer, a good film should be gripping at least, better editing may have saved the film.
Saif does a fair job but a lot more was expected from the award winning ‘Landga Tyaagi’ as he fails to create the macho-protagonist impact to join the league of Dabangg or Singham.
Also, he delivers the much hyped puchlines, ‘Hum aaenge to Garmi badh Jaegi, Patal chal hi Jaega’ and ‘Aurton ki Respect kare Hai’ at such lame moments that the lines go completely unnoticed and I miss those whistles and hootings!
On the contrary, Shergill continues his dream run with moustache and Tigmanshu following Saheb Biwi aur Gangster 1 and 2 (2011, 2013) and even Tanu Weds Manu (2011). Vidhyut as mentioned earlier actually sets the temperature high but is introduced too late and is left with only a climax and a tiny anti-climax.
Sonakshi fills up the girl’s quota and is rather blended awkwardly in the whole soup of Raja Rundra and others.
She does a regular protagonist’s love interest act which has almost become common with these over the top action films, and it’s high time she takes up more roles like this year’s period classic, Lootera (2013). Mahie Gill gets a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ role only to remind you that she is a member of team Tigmanshu.
Music and background score are given by Sajid-Wajid who produce a typical album with a catchy title song, a raunchy item number, and a melodious duet, ‘Saamne hai Saweraa’, that may remind you of ‘Chori kiya re Jiyaa’ from Dabangg.
‘Bullet Raja’ sets the pace of the movie while ‘Don’t Touch my Body’ is a treat for a special category of audiences and is likely to be played in rural marriages and parties across the country.
RDB special, ‘Tamanche pe Disko’ has got some interesting lyrics and has become a popular club song, probably the only of its kind with a gun as a prop in its choreography.
In a nutshell, Bullett Raja is potentially a good movie gone wrong due to various factors. You might watch it if action is your favourite genre and adore Dabangg style films, or if you are a Sonakshi fan.
I personally went because of the director Tigmanshu Dhulia and hoping that Vidhyut was in a strong antagonist role, which ended in disappointment, but it’s not a bad film altogether if you are seeking some time pass.