Bajatey Raho had a whole lot of potential but failed to realise it, writes Paloma Sharma.
Thanks to a lineup of fine actors, Shashant Singh’s new film Bajatey Raho opens to high expectations.
Starring Vinay Pathak, Dolly Ahluwalia, Ranvir Shorey and Tusshar Kapoor in lead roles, Bajatey Raho is a comedy-thriller that balances both elements quite well and is mildly reminiscent of Dibakar Banerjee's Khosla Ka Ghosla.
The film narrates the story of Mrs Baweja aka Mummyji (Dolly Ahluwalia), her cablewala son Sukhi (Tusshar Kapoor) and their motley crew that comprises of a professional jugaadu Ballu (Shorey), caterer and closet actor Mintoo (Vinay Pathak) and young Kabootar (Husaan Saad).
Mummyji and the gang are on a mission to bring back the lost honour of the late Mr Baweja, who was conned into duping investors of Rs 15 crore by a sinister industrialist, Sabbarwal (Ravi Kisan); and how do they plan to achieve this feat? By conning the master of cons and exacting their revenge.
Bajaaey Raho thankfully skips several stereotypes it could have used and sticks to a more rational script.
However, the first 30 minutes of the film may seem a little bit of a drag (especially the part involving Sukhi and Manpreet’s romance) and the story picks up pace only after a while, which may not be a good thing considering its run time of 107 minutes.
The film's only saving grace is the strong performances delivered by almost the entire cast -- Ravi Kisan delivers as as an evil industrialist with a Punjabi accent while Ranvir Shorey appears as if he’s spent his whole life in the streets of Delhi.
But the chemistry between Vinay Pathak and Dolly Ahluwalia takes the cake. Pathak delivers a near-perfect performance even though he doesn't have much screen time to boast of. Vishakha Singh, who plays Sukhi’s love interest Manpreet, does justice to her character. As for Tusshar Kapoor -- well, let's just say that he's done better in Rohit Shetty's Golmaal films.
Bajaate Raho is kind of sweet in its own Three Musketeer-ish kind of way but gets a little predictable after a while.
But that may be a minor gripe since the characters are well crafted and portrayed by such able actors.
The plot is also frequently interrupted by songs.
While Khurafati Ankhiyan is one of the more popular songs of the films, the most (and only) interesting number to watch out for is O meri mata, a bhajan set to the beats of a snazzy Bollywood song whose lyrics are more humorous than they are devotional.
With the exception of these two, the rest of the songs, with their bizarre, almost nonsensical lyrics (‘kudi tu butter’? really?), are miss-able. Thanks to these ditties, the story takes a tumble while trying to toe the line between a thriller and a comedy.
Bajaate Raho had a whole lot of potential. Sadly, not all of it was realised.