Friday, 7 May 2010

A Review of the Review: Badmaash Company


First of all, I must say this was far better than I expected, I hoped for little because although the trailers had plenty of glitz and glamour, I was expecting little plot and there’d be no need for a brain. It had a pleasant surprise in store…

I read a review that was mostly positive and I agreed with some of it and disagreed with other bits, so I thought I’d use this review to express my own views as it can sometimes be pretty hard to write something original when there are twenty other reviews out there, the chances are you’ve lost your chance.

The full review is here:

So here goes…

It’s got a background score that sounds suspiciously like Ocean’s 11, a storyline with shades of 21, and clich├ęs that you associate with a ‘Bollywood’ film. In spite of all that, Badmaash Company is immensely watchable. Without some inconsistencies and a little more imagination, it could have been a lot better.

I haven’t seen 21 or Ocean’s 11 and love Bollywood for these cliches. I agree it is watchable, more than that, it’s raveable! I agree there were some loose ends, but I don’t see how more imagination would have helped.

Each of the three men develops a vice — Zing becomes an alcoholic, Chandu a womaniser, while Karan’s weakness is money — and it leads to interpersonal differences and the group breaking up

I think most of the breaking up was caused by Karan, with his huge ego, I started to hate Shahid’s character at that point which was the desired effect. I agree they all have their vices and was hoping Zing wouldn’t be drinking by the end, alas…

Parmeet Sethi, still remembered as the Punjab da puttar that Simran was to get married to in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, gets to kickstart his directorial career with the same banner that launched him as an actor. And, frankly, he does a good job, too. When you read his name under Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, and Direction, you are a wee bit sceptical, but your doubts are laid to rest soon.

Agree with everything here. I wasn’t skeptical because I had decided to expect nothing but hope for hit, I was pleasantly surprised by the first and am hoping the second works out too.

The story, of course, isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Ambitious youngsters resorting to con jobs to make quick money only to realise their ‘follies’ eventually is something we saw even recently in the very forgettable Teen Patti, which itself was a rip-off of the Hollywood hit 21. In fact, Yash Raj’s Bunty Aur Babli had a similar storyline, too

I do disagree a bit here. Only the absolute basic idea was similar to others, charcters get led off course, they correct themselves. I thought this was ten times more watchable than Bunti Aur Babli, with the cons being more intelligent and the characters better developed. BaB had its own fluffy fun, and this has its own slicker path too. I haven’t seen Teen Patti so no comment.

Where Sethi makes his mark, though, is in the screenplay, which moves fast and keeps you hooked, and in the dialogues, which make the proceedings fun. His characters are interesting, the casting is apt, and he has managed to extract good performances out of the fairly new bunch of actors.

Hehe, after watching so many interviews of the Badmaash four and Vir’s comedy clips, they hardly seemed new to me. The dialogues were crisp but not all that memorable in my opinion seen as I can’t specifically remember any of them, but they might come to me later. The characters are well developed and possibly with the exception of Bulbul, all were shades of grey.

You wish, though, that some corners weren’t cut. Although the cons have been well thought out and executed, sometimes you get the feeling that the four get what they want a trifle too easily. Whether it is persuading an American company to do business with them though they are newcomers, or securing a bank loan in a foreign country, it all seems a cakewalk

I have a theory with this. I think that they would have been shown having at least one problem, but knowing Yash Raj, they’d stretch it out so it took up maybe 15 minutes or even half an hour, so for tight editing, they decided they’d miss it out. It does seem the more sensible option… Imagine this:

I’ve run into a problem” “I’ve just had an idea how to fix it” “it’s fixed, we can carry on”

It’d never happen, they’d drag it out to infinity, so I’m glad they didn’t have any problems.

Karan's marriage with an American for a green card disappears from the plot as suddenly as it appears. Whatever happened to that track? Also, though the more conventional audience may be impressed by the fact that the characters ‘realise their mistakes’ and Karan has to ‘pay for his crimes’, it takes away from the inherent zing the film possesses till that point.

I completely agree with the first bit and that’s one of the unanswered questions I was talking about. It’s really bugging me now! Maybe I should be classed as one of the ‘conventional’ audience because I’m sure the film wouldn’t have been half as good if they hadn’t realised their mistakes because I hated Karan when they all broke up. Really, what fun or emotional would there be to just watch an egotistic Karan just go about in his horrid way destroying relationships?

Frankly, if Sethi had kept out some unnecessary ‘weepy’ moments, like the one where Karan’s father (Anupam Kher) receives an award, or the one where Karan finds out he’s a father, the film could have been shorter, crisper, and more enjoyable. And we would have got to see a Hindi film in which the protagonists aren’t apologetic about wanting to do something they don’t consider ‘wrong’, even if it may be so morally.

No no no no no. These kind of things do happen in films sometimes, for example, in 3 Idiots, it isn’t right to pretend to be someone else (I won’t add details or else it’ll become a spoiler) but did that person ever apologise? It would have been ok to not apologise if Karan had kept his head on his shoulders (as the person from 3 Idiots had) but he didn’t, he got big headed to the extent I hated him, so it is, in my opinion, perfectly right for him to regret it. Karan finding out he’s a father is such a touching scene! *SPOILER* I thought it marked the pinnacle of the change from egotistic gambler to caring, hard working, loving man *SPOILER* I do agree the award was a bit pointless.

That little conventionality and some convenient writing apart, Badmaash Company is fairly entertaining. Shahid Kapur rediscovers the good form he struck in Kaminey and seemed to have lost in Chance Pe Dance. The actor has the persona and the skills to carry off the shrewd con man he plays with style

I hadn’t noticed till now how my Charlie boy has grown! He played a kind of similar role in Shikhar, but here he was so much more immersed within Karan, it had me confused. His roles in Kaminey were far easier to accept because he looked so different as Charlie and he was the sweet stammerer when Guddu, here he looked like Shahid but he acted nothing like it, it was hard for me to accept but I did and loved it thoroughly!

Sharma looks like a million bucks and puts in a bindaas act. She and Kapur share a great chemistry and are responsible for making the film immensely watchable

She definitely puts in a bindaas act but doesn’t really have such a huge role, there were some small similarities with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, such as she was again an independent woman who would take the lead when needed. It annoyed me that she had to be an aspiring model, had Parmeet watched BaB recently?

Both Vir Das and Meiyang Chang put in good debut performances and have the potential to be seen in supporting roles on a regular basis.

As I said before, they didn’t seem new to me and I agree that they acted really well, but why just supporting roles? Also, weren’t they being a bit harsh in always calling Chang Chinese?

Badmaash Company is the film entertainment-starved audiences have been waiting for. And this one might actually go beyond ‘opening weekend numbers’ and prove to be a genuine hit. It has what it takes to do so, for sure.

Amen to that!


Don’t say you hadn’t been warned…

Questions of my own:

1. How did Jazz uncle and Karan’s dad get together again?

2. So what business did they start in the end? Was is just part of Jazz’s business or a legal business of their own?

3. Wasn’t the whole Bleeding Madras idea a little OTT?

4. How come Anuskha’s hostel which wouldn’t allow then to even phone boys, suddenly allow Karan to stay?

5. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GREEN CARD MARRIAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!! That has really been annoying me…

I thought the Michael Jackson representation was still better than the Barrack Obama one in My Name Is Khan.

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