Written by Manisha Lakhe
How Baad Can It Get?
A Rajasthani princess thwarts the advances of a politician and he takes revenge during Emergency (1975) by having her arrested and confiscating all the royal gold. The proud princess has a plan: her bodyguard is asked to steal the truck full of gold as it makes it way to the Capital. The story is that of the heist in the desert, where everyone double-crosses each other and by the end you wish they were all dead in the cross-firing.
‘Life is four days long,’ says Bhawani Singh, ‘I’ve been living it like it is the fourth day all these years.’
Cool dialog this, and the bodyguard of the princess Geetanjali says it with a rather interesting Rajasthani accent. The princess in chiffon and pearl, falls for this big muscled dude who has promised to take care of her no matter what.
Ajay Devgn fits the role of Bhawani Singh well, and you know he’s a good choice. But Ileana D’Cruz as the princess lacks any expression and you begin to pay attention to her impeccable saree and hair in prison and her ghastly enunciation.
Bhawani Singh is asked to steal the gold confiscated by the army (led by Rudra Pratap Singh played by Denzil Smith) when it is en route to Delhi. Now the army captain has another plan, to steal the gold for themselves. The plan does not come through or they forget that they made that plan, who knows…
Bhawani Singh offers the heist job to three other people: Esha Gupta (why? Because she’s princess Geetanjali’s friend), Emraan Hashmi (why? Who else would utter stupid lines in order to look the part of a petty thief, a low life in ghastly bell-bottoms and lover boy tees, and is found in brothels) and Sanjay Mishra (why? Because you need a drunken sod who can crack safes). You can see where each person is going to fall apart. But you watch because you like heist movies.
In a ghastly bathrobe dropping scene, the princess gets into a clinch with Bhawani Singh and his loyalties are bought. But there’s a fly in the ointment: the army captain has brought in a cool moustachioed dude (the moustache seems precariously perched on Vidyut Jamwal’s upper lip, who suspects that the truck carrying the gold will be hijacked. But the truck turns out to be super armored: five safe locks, bullet proof, and has a red button that turns the truck into a cage which cannot be opened for six hours no matter what. And yes, the fab four hijack the truck (you will cringe each time they try to enunciate the word as if they were villagers, ‘Tarak’) and they are chased by everyone, including a police officer (Sharad Kelkar, whose police station is equipped with torture devices like waterboarding and electric shocks and makeshift racks. They even light a fire under Sanjay Mishra’s chair and he is forced to yell, ‘Am I a cock that you are roasting?’ to earn laughs from the cheap seats. And laugh they did. At Emraan Hashmi swaggering, ‘I don’t steal taraks, I steal hearts!’ or anything Sanjay Mishra does in the name of comedy (like fall down drunk at all times and wake up in jail to ask for tea, earning himself a slap). What is it with Bollywood and grown up people slapping each other?
You discover that the tarak with the gold is taken to a border village where the thief tribe will melt it (into what? Gold coins and chains are turned into little nuggets! Why? Who knows!). But first, they spend twenty minutes with Sanjay Mishra attempting to open the safe that is the tarak. For comic relief, they put blinkers on the man so he can concentrate on the job at hand.
Of course there’s another double cross waiting to happen. When it does, you just groan into your popcorn and hope the princess does not kiss the moustache so much it comes off. You have begun to check messages as soon as you realise you saw it coming a mile away. The story is so boringly predictable, you don’t care if the cast forgets that they are in Rajasthan and need to speak the lingo. The last scene is in a sandstorm and it is left for you, the audience to figure out what happened to the bad guys and the gold and so on and so forth. This is such a blatant attempt at wanting a sequel you facepalm rather loudly and wish Sunny Leone would show up again and dance in a giant barrel of water so you feel you did not spend the ticket money in vain.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)