Baadshaho movie review: This period drama might make you yell ‘period’!

Directed By: Milan Luthria
Produced By: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Milan Luthria
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, Sanjay Mishra, Vidyut Jammwal
Duration: 2 hours 16 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 1.5/5

Two lovers. No wait, three lovers. Lot of gold. One corrupt politician. All with different purposes. Put all of them on the backdrop of emergency period. You have ‘Baadshaho’. An epic mess!

This can easily be called a film with good elements that cringe as an outcome of a bad, bad execution. So much that Vidyut Jammwal’s mammoth action skills and Ajay Devgn’s years-old coherence over thrillers can’t save this painful watch. Rani Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D’Cruz), the all-hailed Queen of a Rajasthani town is in deep-neck distress as she possesses tonnes of undeclared property (Read: chunks of gold). She seeks aid from her oldest and most faithful bodyguard Bhawani Singh (Ajay Devgn) in helping to smuggle the gold out of the country safely. Just when we are forced to yawn with Ileana’s malnutritioned performance, we see some romance cropping up. Hence, Ajay, from being a bodyguard, turns her lover, through an absolutely awkward turns of events.

Hence, you now know it’s a story of two lovers trying to execute a difficult task together. Enter Seher (Vidyut Jammwal), an army man who has been sent to confiscate Gitanjali’s gold and help it reach the Government (represented by a bad Priyanshu Chatterjee with a bad wig and a worse cameo hinting at late Sanjay Gandhi). We soon have Ileana trying to woo the handsome cop too, and are left puzzled! Vidyut does as much as possible with his chiseled body and a few badly choreographed action sequences. But he is certainly decent in both his appearance and his performance.

Parallelly, there are Dalia (Emraan Hashmi) and Sanjana (Esha Gupta) whose romance never blooms, may be for good! These two are accompanying Ajay Devgn in his mission. Emraan is rather decent in his shoes, and does justice to his character of a companion, faithful even amid severely troubling circumstances. Sadly, the script leaves Esha Gupta with no scope of performing at all. She is this woman you find in every action thriller, whose job is to conveniently do what a man can’t. Sigh!

We rather liked Sanjay Mishra, an old man with exceptional skills of opening any lock who keeps lending his support to all of Ajay’s mission, and is fondly addressed as Guruji by the gang!

What could have turned out to be a thrilling period drama, becomes a half-baked mess, heavily toned down by a flawed screenplay and poor performances. Milan Luthria, who can boast of making an ‘Once Upon a Time In Mumbaai’ and ‘Taxi No. 9211’ has churned out better from his actors, but fails this time. At the same time, his film fails to stand up to its real intention. Neither a complicated love triangle nor a perfectly cooked thriller can claim to be the film’s key point. And the major disappointment is probably Ajay Devgn himself. What happened to the performer who delivered a jaw-dropping thriller like ‘Drishyam’?

Further, major cinematic liberties have been enjoyed by ‘Baadshaho’. The cinematography isn’t at all convincing for a period drama and a flawed editing at times makes it an abrupt watch. Still wondering what joy the makers strawed out, as they slaughtered Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s classic ‘Mere Rashk-E-Qamar’. Good production could have made it a more bearable watch. It does not.

In a long time, Ajay Devgn’s fame of being one of industry’s senior most action stars doesn’t save his latest release. Hence, during a first day first show at a Mumbai multiplex, the gold seats are occupied by people, clad in their blankets, sleeping peacefully.

The verdict was just written above. In case you want it loud and clear- missing ‘Baadshaho’ will be of no loss!

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