Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two stars)
Star Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri
Director: Ravi Jadhav
What’s Good: A few quirky dialogues that manage to give you comic relief in the otherwise boring film.
What’s Bad: A poor script and confused genre of the film.
Loo Break: Yeah! Keep them coming!
Taraat Bhai (Riteish Deshmukh) is known as the ‘Banjo Ka Bachchan’. He works as small time extortionist when he is not playing Banjo but of course he is the ‘heart of gold’ guy, whom the neighborhood loves.
Chris (Nargis Fakhri) is a NY based DJ who dreams to make it big in music. When a music festival calls for entries, Chris is certain that it’s now time for her to make her own music and send it for the competition.
When Mikey (Luke Kenny), her friend from India sends her a Banjo played song from the Ganpati festival, Chris decides to work with the same players for her next single.
She flies to India and is now left to find out the best Banjo band from the slums of Mumbai.
Will Chris be able to help Taraat and his band get the recognition and respect they deserve is what lies ahead.
Banjo Review: Script Analysis
Banjo is a thoroughly confused affair. While in its opening credits, the film mentions that it is a dedication to the street musicians all over, it completely loses its track. The writers put every commercial element in the film such as a rival band, a crime scene, love story, emotional twist and the result is absolutely disappointing.
In the first half itself, the story is seen slipping from its actual subject. To add to the woes of the viewer, they also introduce multiple characters and many of them are a complete nuisance. One such character would be Chris’ friend’s uncle played by Anand Ingle.
The dialogues are either too corny or comical but none of them really make an impact. Also, hideous lines from one of the antagonists who says, ‘A woman’s no is a yes’ puts you off the film even more.
The first half itself tests your patience as Chris fails to recognize Taraat and his band until the interval. By then, all we are subjected to is, Taraat’s obsession with Chris.
In the second half, after Chris finds the band, the writers add stupid elements such as land-grabbing and a shootout that snatch the film way beyond its musical core.
If you are patient enough, only then will you reach the climax of this film and let me tell you, that’s not any satisfying or believable either.
Banjo Review: Star Performance
Riteish Deshmukh as Taraat is just a city version of Lai Bhaari‘s Mauli. Of course, he has the rockstar look this time because he is a Banjo player. Deshmukh tries hard to impress in this heroic role but a tepid script pulls him down. If Banjo was written any better, the purpose of working on a solo film instead of his otherwise succesful multi-starrers could have been served
Nargis Fakhri as Chris is completely disappointing. She lacks the body language to be a DJ or feel the music in the first place. A poor dialogue delivery and terrible emotional scenes make you wonder how and why was she the only choice for the film.
Luke Kenny as Mikey not only looks impressive but also pulls off a decent role. His Marathi speaking dialogues are real fun to hear.
Dharmeah Yelande doesn’t get to dance much in this film but he surprises with his act. As ‘grease’, the mechanic and the band’s drummer, he has done fairly good.
TV actor Mahesh Shetty gets a negative role in the film. He overdoes his role slightly and its almost like watching him on the Television.
Banjo Review: Direction, Music
When it comes to direction, Ravi Jadhav will have to be given full credits for giving us the complete Mumbai feel with a tour of the Worli Village. Also, the festive Ganpati spirit is captured very well.
After directing Marathi marvels such as Natarang and Balgandhrva or even the commercially successful Timepass, how does Jadhav go so wrong with Banjo is a mystery to me. I honestly feel that the same script for a Marathi film too would have not worked and a director of his caliber should have foreseen that.
There are ample of loopholes in the presentation, especially silly stuff like the band performs at a club and during the song, we can see all four members dancing. (Hello! It was a live band show!).
Also, a shoddy editing is a serious issue for this film. Having complete 2 minute songs that are not adding value to the script is a crime and the makers of Banjo do that more than once. The film runs for 2 hours 17 minutes without even deciding its genre.
Vishal-Shekhar’s music is high on beats and does make sure you’re left foot tapping in the theaters but additions such as ‘Pee Paa Ke’ are a complete waste of time.
Banjo Review: The Last Word
Banjo could be termed as the most boring music-based film ever! It is a haphazard film that tests your patience until the end! A 2/5 for this film.
Banjo releases on 23rd Sept, 2016.
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