Reviews

Badlpur boys: Grow up boys!

A scene from the movie

A scene from the movie

BADLAPUR BOYS

Genre : Sports/Drama

Director : Shailesh Verma

Cast: Nishan, Saranya Mohan, Annu Kapoor, Aman Verma

Laced with a social message, director Shailesh Verma attempts to place kabbadi in the conscience of multiplex audience but the amateurish approach and uneven treatment makes it a dreary experience. A remake of a Tamil hit, Badlapur Boys follows Lagaan’s underdog template. When a village kabaddi team, known for losing, decides to participate in a State-level tournament it manages to surprise many.

Verma has the material. There is a potent backstory where Vijay (Nishan) loses his childhood when his father dies protesting to bring a water canal to the parched village. He grows up as a farm labourer who is not allowed to indulge in his passion for kabbadi. Things change when one of the players backs out and he gets a chance to express himself under the tutelage of an indulgent coach (Annu Kapoor). There is an inherent drama in the story, there is a romance brewing at the corner, there are characters in the team asking to be etched and there are situations which make you bring out the handkerchief. Along the way the narrative hints at social hierarchy and corruption in sports but what Verma does is that he merely ticks the boxes never allowing the drama to seep in between the statement that the film is trying to make. It remains relevant but never becomes rousing. In his climactic speech, for a moment, Annu Kapoor shows how to do it.

The good thing is Verma doesn’t try to polish the rural atmosphere for eyeballs.

The ambience is realistic but some of the poses that Nishan is made to strike don’t go with the setting. Nishan looks the part and blends with the surroundings but he doesn’t have the skill to convey the inherent layers of the script. The visuals of the game are striking but the propensity to go for the top angle shot becomes a little too predictable. Similarly, the use of editing tools to whip up some excitement remains as superficial as the effort to slip in a love triangle. As a result the boys lose breath even before they touch our hearts.

Bottomline : A relevant tale let down by amateurish treatment


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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 2:00:58 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/badlpur-boys-grow-up-boys/article6686040.ece