Banners: Movies By The Mob, KNKSPL
Producers: Kiran Shyam Shroff, Kushan Nandy, Ashmith Kunder
Director: Kushan Nandy
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bidita Bag,
Jatin Goswami, Divya Dutta, Shraddha
Das, Anil George, Bhagwan Tiwari, Murli
iSharma, Jitu Shivhare
Writer: Ghalib Asad Bhopali
Music: Gaurav Dagaonkar
Set in a rustic milieu with a bunch of trigger-happy men who shoot without blinking an eyelid, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is a brutal yet gripping action-thriller with plenty of twists and turns. There’s also dollops of black humour throughout the film, which is hilarious in a twisted sort of way, even when someone is being brutally murdered.
The film revolves around the cocky Babu Bihari (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), whose rozi-roti is taking contracts to kill people. He does his job with utmost swag and is known to never miss a single shot. Babu is often hired by Sumitrajiji (Divya Dutta), a politician, to get rid of her opponents. During one of his kills, Babu happens to meet Phulwa (Bidita Bag), a fiery cobbler, and instantly falls for her. She asks him to kill two men for her. In order to win her over, Babu casually shoots the two men, who Phulwa wants dead. But this turns Sumitrajiji against him.
Meanwhile, Babu gets another contract, from another politician Dubey (Anil George) to kill three of Sumitra’s close aides. Enter Banke (Jatin Goswami), another young assassin, who admires Babu and considers him his guru. Banke is also given the same contract, to bump off Sumitra’s three aides. Both Babu and Banke challenge each other as to who will kill these men first. Over time, Babu also grows fond of Banke and they become friends. However, little does Babu know that Bhanke has a contract to kill him and he even shoots him in the head.
Yeah, your guess is as good as mine – Babu doesn’t die. He rises like the phoenix and wakes up from a coma after 8 years, only to find that his world, including Phulwa, has been completely destroyed. Babu now seeks revenge and is thirsty for the blood of people who destroyed his rustic paradise. More bullets are fired, more swear words are spewed and a set of predictable twists and turns lead the film to its climax.
Directed by Kushan Nandy, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is dystopian in nature and its characters are twisted and quirky, which make for an interesting watch. However, the film does fail to a certain extent at the script level. There are some genuinely entertaining and interesting scenes like the one where Babu and Banke discuss how much they get paid for their kills; or where Inspector Tarashankar (Bhagwan Tiwari) in the midst of a shootout is told by his wife to buy some groceries.
But the film, which is of the Gangs Of Wasseypur genre, lacks a cohesive story that perfectly binds all its assorted characters together. There are plenty of scenes that add nothing to the narrative. The film gets all its brownie points for the fantastic casting and performances, which truly rock.
Performance-wise, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s desi swag is charming and the actor, yet again, delivers a memorable performance. Bidita Bag, who marks her debut with this film, is confident and her fiery act is impressive. Jatin Goswami is fabulously natural and aces his act. Divya Dutta is feisty and brilliant. Bhagwan Tiwari is fabulous. The rest of the cast is fine. Vishal Vittal’s camerawork brilliantly captures the rustic terrain of the film’s setting.
Verdict: Babumoshai Bandookbaaz is not the kind of film that will please everyone but for those who enjoy black humour and gritty drama, it is a must-watch. And, yes, the performances make it worth your time and money.