This year has been pleasantly a good year for Bollywood. Contrary to the expectations, it has managed to churn out original and impactful films like Jhund, Gehraiyaan(debatable ofcourse), Badhaai Do and The Kashmir files to name a few. But come this weekend, it got back to what we had expected with the release of Bachchhan Paandey. An official adaptation of the original Tamil film Jigarthanda, the makers had a tall ask already. With Farhad Samji at the helm of it, the task got even tougher. The trailer did give me a glimpse as to how bad the film, it could actually be. But I was in for a suprise, a surprise which would scar me mentally. Here are my two cents(and literally two cents) on the film Bachchhan Paandey.
Story & Screenplay
An official adaptation of the Tamil film Jigarthanda, Bachchhan Paandey follows the story of an aspiring filmmaker wanting to make a film on a dreaded gangster. The character name is a spin off of another bad Akshay Kumar film Tashan where his character name was Bachchan Pandey. My word I had no clue how bad an adaptation can actually be. Right from the first scene, I got a dose for things to come. I wonder who approved this dogsh*t. Jigarthanda was a path breaking film in so many ways and all the makers had to do was copy it tactfully. But that also they could not do. In fact, the first half of Bachchhan Paandey ends up as a collection of scenes which have no head or tail to them. All this while I was massaging my head, trying to make sense of the proceedings. There was zero buildup to any scene and just a mishmash of ridiculously choreographed scenes. Even the action scenes were randomly played against a terrible song, that made zero sense. But I had no idea what the second half was in store for me.
The second half is probably the most ridiculous piece of writing I have seen yet. In the name of originality, a tedious love story was served. Can a foreigner ever fall in love with a roadside rowdy? Either this is ridiculous or I am not updated in life. I began tearing my hair while watching the proceedings which continued to serve dogsh*t in the name of entertainment. A recurring headache is what I have been left with even while I struggle to pen this review. The only one scene which works is the climax scene which features the mother and son duo. But apart from that this is a heavy dose of torture in the name of entertainment.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are ridiculous whatsapp forwards served in the name of being funny. You tell me if you find this funny ” MMMM…Maazaa Band Kar Tera Darwaaza”. What is so funny here?? The action sequences are tepid and one of the one take sequences are directly lifted from Fast and Furious which had Jason Statham in it. Different scenes in the film are lifted from the meme world, all this while the makers thought that this will be a hilarious ride. I wonder who was laughing while filmming this dogsh*t. I am honestly surprised that Farhad Samji is even getting big budget films to direct. His filmography just doesn’t exude any confidence yet a big production house like Nadiadwala & Grandsons is backing him. His direction is flawlessly flawed. I cannot put it in words as to how bad the direction actually is. This ain’t even a snoozefest because the film keeps you awake through some badly directed shots and ridiculous one liners. And these are alarm bells for Salman Khan whom Farhad Samji will be directing next(Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali).
The performances are also ridiculously bad. It takes some amount of talent to waste talented actors like Sanjai Mishra, Saharsh Kumar, Abhimanyu Singh in badly written roles. Pankaj Tripathi plays a Gujarati teacher here and I never thought I’ll say this but he was irritating in the film. A special talent required to make a legend like Pankaj Tripathi act badly. Prateik Babbar is ridiculously bad and he just didn’t fit in this world. Thankfully his character was killed off soon. Jacqualine Fernandez continues to get roles despite average outings. She literally had nothing to do here but was soon killed off too. A few jokes land thanks to Arshad Warsi and his impeccable timing. Kriti Sanon is a talented performer but she is pretty average here. She needs to choose her scripts wisely. And then the curious case of Akshay Kumar begins. I have been a fan of him and I really miss the Akshay Kumar for the early 2000s in Priyadarshan comedies. His comic timing is generally on point. But it seems his current template of quantity over quality is hampering his acting now. He seems to be sleepwalking through all his roles and honestly I cannot tell the difference here. It is time he slows down and selects films on merit rather than just going for it.
Bachchhan Paandey will end up giving you a headache. I guess this is what the makers meant by ‘Holi Pe Goli’. Paracetamol Guaranteed! Available in a theatre near you.