Bullet Raja Review
Potboilers seem to have become the need of the hour in Bollywood with even the makers, who have stuck to content driven cinema, trying their hands at experiencing what it feels to be in the 100cr club. The latest to hit the marquee is filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia with Bullett Raja, who for long has carved his own path with films like Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Paan Singh Tomar etc. Whether his sensibility syncs with commercial cinema or he loses his art for monetary gains, let's find out.
Set in Uttar Pradesh, Bullett Raja is Tigmanshu's version of Ramesh Sippy's Sholay. Both Raja Mishra (Saif Ali Khan and Rudra Pratap (Jimmy Sheirgill) become buddies for life when Raja saves the latter's life in a gang-war. The two want nothing more than a stable-simple life but fate and some conniving politicians turn them into gangsters aka political commandos of politician Ram Babu Shukla (Raj Babbar) who stop at nothing. But their meteoric rise as the dreaded duo starts coming in the way of the industrialists and other politicians soon putting them on the hit list of many. Whether the two survive or not is that follows through the rest of the plot.
Bullett Raja is nothing but Tigmanshu Dhulia oscillating between content and masala. The maker unspools a complex plot for a massy character what with the surfeit of characters that keep coming in right till the last 15 minutes of the film but at the same time, reduces his concoction to a mere case of convenience. There's ample liberty taken with the creation of characters and situations in the film.
Almost 80 per cent of the film struggles to match the formulaic patterns of commercial cinema so you see the characters heading to Mumbai city only for a disco number, Tamanche Pe Disco (which too isn't remotely appeasing) or moving to Kolkata to dance between the yellow Taxis. Only if the director could focus on the script more than jazzy-ing his film with numbers which aren't hummable anyway, the film would've worked wonders!
Yet another eye sore is the continuity blunder. You see both Saif and Jimmy with all shapes, styles and sizes of hair throughout the film. So you'd see Saif entering through a door with short hair and exiting with straight, extremely bronzed long hair all within the same scene. You don't need a reviewer to pinpoint such glaring mistakes; it can be noticeable even to a layman.
Coming to acting, both Jimmy and Saif put up a decent show and have some entertaining scenes as friends. Sadly, the faulty character-sketch and directionless direction scars their performances too. Character actors like Raj Babbar, Ravi Kissen, Gulshan Grover, Vipin Sharma are all passable.
The worry zones are both Vidyut Jamwal and Sonakshi Sinha who barely have any contribution in the film and fail to please even at that. It's surprising why would the director introduce a love angle in a film which didn't need one and why Sonakshi would even take up a role which is more inconsequential than even a prop. Vidyut Jamwal on the other hand comes with his martial art skills and the same old straight face which refuses to emote all through his run time.
Bullett Raja had the scope to bring about some content in the current crop of massy entertainers and could cater to the intelligentsia but Tigmanshu Dhulia's inept attempt ruins all such chances. Quite a downer!
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