Sunday, June 19, 2011


Release date:
June 17, 2011
Ankush Bhatt
Prashant Narayanan, Gautam Sharma, Pavan Malhotra, Piyush Mishra, Shilpa Shukla, Deepti Naval

Bhindi Baazaar Inc is the right movie coming at the wrong time. If I owned a time travel machine, I’d go back 15 years to watch it and check if my reaction would have been different. This is a film about gang rivalries on the mean streets of Mumbai starring a very good cast. But it’s the sort of story we’ve seen so many times already, courtesy Ram Gopal Varma and others who followed in his footsteps, that it can only take you thus far and no further.

Tez (Gautam Sharma) and Fateh (Prashant Narayanan) have been brought up in Bhindi Baazaar where garbage battles for space with human beings, and street children become resources for ruthless gangsters. Tez and Fateh work with Mamu (Pavan Malhotra) whose enmity with Pandey (Piyush Mishra) and lust for his own sister-in-law lead to complications, betrayals and bloodletting. The story is told in flashback by Tez as he plays a game of chess with Shroff (Kay Kay Menon) in an upmarket apartment. The board game – one of the few novelties in this film – becomes a metaphor for the gang wars that Tez is describing. The other interesting factor is that here the women are shown not just as manipulative molls or helpless by-standers but as active participants in the violence, though to a lesser degree than their male cohorts.

This is one of those films that makes you feel sad for the talented actors who have invested so much of themselves in the project. Prashant Narayanan is excellent as always but has been typecast by a Bollywood that doesn’t have the imagination to visualise an actor with his personality in romances and comedies. Gautam Sharma is an attractive chap who wisely underplays Tez. The rest of the cast is just as effective, especially Deepti Naval playing Mamu’s long-suffering wife who unexpectedly reveals her own violent streak. On the downside, Jackie Shroff makes an inexplicably insignificant guest appearance. And the song-and-dance by Caterina Lopez – furiously peddled to all of us as “Jennifer Lopez’s cousin” – is no great shakes.

The dialogue writing is entertaining in many places. Says one gangster to another: “Aisa laat maaroonga ki saat din mere pao tere ***** se nikaalne mein lagega (I’ll kick you so bad that it will take seven days to pull my foot out of your *******).” But it doesn’t all come together as neatly as it should. And burdened as it is by a similarity to so many of its predecessors, Bhindi Baazaar Inc remains a film I enjoyed reasonably while I watched it, but from the moment I stepped out of the theatre, I’ve been hard pressed to remember the story as it melds in my mind with numerous other Bollywood gangster flicks I’ve seen in the past decade and a half. Watchable but unmemorable, that’s what Bhindi Baazaar Inc is.

Rating (out of five): **1/4

CBFC Rating:                       A (The Censors got two words of abuse beeped out because they were considered derogatory to women.)
Running time:                        130 Minutes
Language:                              Hindi

Photograph courtesy:!/bhindibaazaar

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