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Rogue's Gallery

Saturday, September 02, 2017
By Deepa Gahlot

Baadshaho
Director:
Milan Luthria
Cast: Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Ileana D’Cruz, Vidyut Jammwal, Esha Gupta, Sanjay Mishra and others
Rating: * *

The talk of Emergency tagged during the promotion of 'Baadshaho' makes it sound like it has a political statement built in. However, this was probably because Milan Luthria wanted to depict a period before cell phones and GPS existed. Also, if a heist is carried out against a ‘bad’ government, it makes the crime somewhat legit, and the offenders heroes, not unscrupulous thieves.

Since it is a throwback to the seventies, it also has some of the elements of cinema of that era, like swaggering, quip-a-minute characters and an illogical masala plot. The Emergency is limited to a Sanjay Gandhi-like character who orders the army to confiscate the hidden treasure of Princess Gitanjali (Ileana D’Cruz), because she turned him down. She is thrown into jail, where she spends several days without crumpling her chiffon sari or mussing her make-up. The Seventies are invoked by characters wearing bell-bottoms and driving an Ambassador, otherwise the period is irrelevant.

Gitanjali’s loyal bodyguard and lover Bhawani (Ajay Devgan) promises to steal her gold for her, getting skirt-chaser Dalia (Emraan Hashmi), lock-picker Guruji (Sanjay Mishra) and Gitanjali’s friend Sanjana (Esha Gupta) to help. Trying to stop the on-the-road heist is army man Sehar (Vidyut Jammwal), who is introduced sitting in a train compartment in his briefs, for no reason but that he has a body to show-off.

For a caper, it’s not much fun, the music is forgettable and the climax ridiculous. There are just a few enjoyable scenes – the actual capture of the truck carrying the booty being one of them; the rest is all tosh. Ajay Devgan plays his usual strong-silent type, Emraan Hashmi gets a sexy song with Sunny Leone, and Sanjay Mishra does the heavy lifting. Esha Gupta is included just to add a little more glamour. It would have been interesting to see them playing against type, but this is not that kind of film.

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