A heist film set during the Emergency, all that Baadshaho boasts of in the name of authenticity is a villainous politician called Sanjeev (Priyanshu Chatterjee) who’s a slimy Sanjay Gandhi lookalike. Sanjeev, for some strange reason is surrounded by semi-clad, dead asleep women. He’s also got an officer at his beck and call to confiscate the gold reserves of Rani Geetanjali (Ileana D’Cruz), a Rajasthani royalty who has lost her privy purse. She must get a group of thugs together to loot the gold back. What follows is a mess of a film in which robberies and escapes happen way too easily, twists and turns pile up badly, characters appear and disappear randomly. Why did Sharad Kelkar have to be there at all? I am still scratching my head to make sense of it all. In a nutshell, the film is all about people conning each other and it’s for the viewer to figure out the biggest con kaun? But who cares!
- Director: Milan Luthria
- Starring: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta, Vidyut Jamwal, Sanjay Mishra
- Storyline: A queen deprived of her wealth plans a robbery to get it all back
- Run time: 2 hours 42 minutes
Luthria is extremely self-aware in keeping things old-fashioned and devoid of logic. But that doesn’t make the film retro cool, it just makes it terribly worn out and jaded. The stress on the hero’s entry, the cultivated swagger, the sexy item number, a listless set of actors sleepwalking through their roles and another set on the fringe behaving like puppets. On top of that there are some utterly inane lines like “ wo army hain to hum harami hain ” and an expression like “ desi tharre mein angrezi whiskey ” to describe a Westernised girl. A chase in the blue Jodhpur streets and rooftops promises to bring things alive but peters off just as fast. There’s more. Bad Rajasthani accents, a socialistic distribution of gold and an abrupt climax that leaves one with the promise of a sequel. Not that there would be many takers. Baadshaho is a masala film that doesn’t get a single spice right.