Cast: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz, Emraan Hashmi
Director: Milan Luthria
The year is 1973. A princess of Rajasthan frustrates the advances of a powerful politician, who has a mysterious resemblance to Sanjay Gandhi, pointing a sword in his heart. The animosity between the two takes two years to culminate when the government declares the Emergency.
Now, politician Sanjeev (Priyanshu Chatterjee) is after the life of Princess Geetanjali (Ileana D’Cruz) and gold quintals his family has amassed for bad times.
Confident and lover of Geetanjali Bhawani (Ajay Devgn) is determined to hijack the truck full of gold on its way to Delhi. Dalia (Emraan Hashmi), Guruji (Sanjai Mishra) and Sanjana (Esha Gupta) are part of their team. But there is a mole between them that could change the game.
It is an old-fashioned story set in a time when royalty was concerned about the fate of its private banks. There are mentions of Sholay and Thakur in case they still are not right of the era.
Rajat Arora dialogues establish the environment initially. Bhawani arrives announcing, “Zubaan aur jaan ek hi baar di Jaa sake hai, aaj se dono thaare.” You are a little puzzled. Baadshaho could be another artist worthy of paisa vasool, like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.
Emraan Hashmi also plays for the gallery. A song with Sunny Leone and a chase to show the acrobatic skills of Shehar Singh (Vidyut Jammwal) manage to keep the audience engaged despite signs that the exciting part of the story might end well before the end.
Unfortunately, after 10 more minutes, this is exactly what happens, and Baadshaho begins to become a deaf matter.
The weakest part of this so-called theft movie is the same robbery. In fact, it is one of the easiest blows in film history, where those responsible for protecting the gold truck are the most clueless. Authorities seize all but the most obvious suspect.
Milan Luthria wants Baadshaho to have cheeky and cynical characters, and the most convenient way to do it in Bollywood is to project sensational dialogues. Rajat Arora comes handy as feathers of a line like ‘Aapke sone ka carat character humare ko kharab nahi kar sakta’ and ‘Queen ke saath ek cover bhi hota hai’.
But all goes in vain in the absence of a coherent script. The actors come, talk mouth and leave room for another to do the same, without anything happening in the middle. What worked at Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, who had the same team, was a good build up to the climax. Here we all know where it is headed.
She feels very uncomfortable when in the middle of a robbery, Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta begin to talk about their future and how they feel the need for love in their lives. This looks like a formula – we’ve shown action scenes for 10 minutes, let’s go for an emotional scene now.
Ajay Devgn probes his role with an additional emphasis on his “intense” eyes. Emraan Hashmi and Vidyut Jammwal are no different. Sanjay Mishra is the most natural portion, but this is far from its best staff.
This leaves us with the two main ladies of Baadshaho, Geetanjali and Sanjana. The only purpose they serve is to add some glamor to the movie. Geetanjali is a princess, supposedly influential, but is the most helpless in the scheme of things that is headed by her ordinary bodyguard. There is a woman fatale angle too that does not contribute much to the story apart from bringing a kink just for the sake of it.
Baadshaho has too many ordinarily written characters who push themselves for whistle-worthy one-liners for 136-minutes. Eventually they stay short of steam and Baadshaho becomes a story of the nineties with some brilliance and much disappointment.