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|February 12, 2000||
What a waste!Sharmila Taliculam
There is no need to book in advance, if you intend to go to theatres to watch Badal. On the first day itself, one found only a handful of people waiting at the movie hall and the current booking window open. Perhaps, this is a sign of things to come. The initials weren't promising and after seeing the film, you realise why!
The film starts with the riots of 1984, when Delhi and Punjab were in turmoil. Badal's (Bobby Deol) family is massacred and he vows revenge. The killing is carried out by a corrupt police officer named Jai Singh Rana (Ashutosh Rana) who has this sadistic gleam in his eyes every time he murders someone.
Badal is brought up by a terrorist and himself, turns into one. The rest of the movie proceeds predictably and requires the patience of a saint to sit through. The film has been directed by Raj Kanwar who is known to make films filled with generous helpings of drama and violence.
This film too, has an overdose of violence. You have this officer who wants to kill people, needlessly. You wonder why!
Bobby looks traumatised throughout the film. After all, he is supposed to be a terrorist, and that couldn't have been too comfortable for him. The film portrays the terrorist in a positive light, trying to explain how and why the process starts. Of course it is fictionalised, as Bobby himself pointed out in his interview to rediff.com.
With this film, the actor seems to be following in the footsteps of the two other famous Deols, Dharmendra and Sunny -- you know the usual tough he-man image and the "tu ne meri maa ko chua? Mein tera khoon pee jaaonga" stuff. And another thing we must point out, the new cropped haircut doesn't suit him at all.
The only person who is a delight to watch is Rani Mukherjee. She is the sole character who provides relief in this otherwise supposedly serious film. She is peppy and endearing, and is shown as a flighty person whose idea of excitement entails seeing an arrested terrorist. Despite this idiosyncrasy, she is good and breathes life even into this inconsequential role.
Why is an actor like Ashutosh Rana wasting himself doing such a role? His character doesn't have any flesh and requires no real talent. Why would anybody require talent to look ruthless? He has this strange habit of burning down whole villages, even if there's just a single terrorist hiding somewhere. Another idiosyncrasy, we must say.
A word of warning before you watch this film -- for the sake of your sanity, leave your brains behind. There are so many things here that don't make sense. But then again, there are a host of other movies that fall into this category anyway.
A point in case is when Rana reaches a small town to make arrests. He walks around nonchalantly, while people are running helter-skelter. Not to mention the bullets that are whizzing past his head. But does any bullet get him? Nope. Rana's safety has to be ensured till the hero can settle his due with him.
Then you have this sugary sweet family, comprising Amrish Puri, Neena Kulkarni and Mayuri Kango, which gives shelter to a stranger without giving so much as a second thought (idiosyncrasy no 3?!!), simply because "he is from our village." After which Badal becomes the son of the house --conveniently.
Then again, when the hero is arrested and taken in an ambulance after he's been shot, he just opens the door, jumps out and escapes. Amazingly enough, there are no police constables guarding this so-called dreaded terrorist.
There is another terrorist as well, in the form of Azgar (Shadaab Khan) who speaks with an Afghan accent. While our anti-hero needed an excuse to be bad, he didn't even need that. He supplies arms and ammunition. Our filmmakers should now stop flogging this particular subject to death.
The songs are passable. Two of them have been picturised on Mink and Suman Ranganathan, who, as usual, strut their stuff. Most of the songs have the feel of Punjabi folk music. Anyway, none of them is anything to write home about. And the same can be said of the film too. It's quite a torturous experience and a waste of three hours.
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