Star Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Paresh Rawal, Kriti Sanon, Ronit Roy, Manisha Koirala, Sachin Khedekar, Ankur Rathee, Rajpal Yadav, Sunny Hinduja, Ali Asgar
Director: Rohit Dhawan
What’s Good: Kartik Aaryan’s earnest attempt at filling the big shoes of Allu Arjun
What’s Bad: Makers’ lacking attempt at filling the mediocre shoes of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo
Loo Break: During any song, any scene not involving Kartik Aaryan
Watch or Not?: Only if you haven’t seen the original and that too on OTT on a Sunday you want to waste while doing nothing
Available On: Theatrical release
Runtime: 145 Minutes
Following probably the weirdest ‘baby exchanging’ scene the Indian film industry has ever seen, we are introduced to the ‘Bachaa Badlu’ Valmiki (Paresh Rawal) who has exchanged his kid with his multi-millionaire Employer Jindalls’ (Ronit Roy) stating the reason that if not him then his child will lead a luxurious lifestyle.
Bantu’s (Kartik Aaryan) fate is served on a silver spoon to Raj (Ankur Rathee) and one fine day the cat gets out of the bag serving the to-be-followed chaos. Will the ‘middle class’ Bantu go down to the Jindall house and ask for his hissa? Or will he go on to be a ‘hissa’ of Jindall Pariwar? Every 90s kid who grew up on Indian cinema knows the answer to the question.
Shehzada Movie Review: Script Analysis
Trivikram Srinivas’ story remains to be as mediocre as it was in the original which was solely saved by the charm of the stylish Allu Arjun and blockbuster music. The film starts as a Tik-Tok video and remains to be one sprinkled with songs that will also just trend on social media for as short as the attention span of today’s ‘reel-watching’ Audience. Rohit Dhawan’s screenplay also retains the same style as Trivikram Srinivas’ film.
This one also loses the motif of the character worshipping himself throughout but that somewhere acts as an anchor for Allu’s Bantu to be far more superior because of the charisma. Even the fight sequences are built on somewhat the same action choreography displaying the lack of team r&d. Sanjay Leela Bhansai’s favourite Sudeep Chatterjee holds the camera along with Sanjay F. Gupta unfortunately to copy-paste even the angles from the original.
Shehzada Movie Review: Star Performance
Kartik Aaryan’s USP is honesty which he portrays through his performance since PKP days and that’s visible in Bantu as well. He tries his best to serve what’s on the plate and that’s not the problem. The problem is with the content that he’s serving off that plate. Kriti Sanon relies completely on how beautiful is she looking as there’s nothing else for her to contribute to the story.
Paresh Rawal does a decent job at being a ‘kamina baap’ making you adore and kill him at the same time. Ronit Roy continues to explore the different versions of the father in Bollywood but this one is meh, not up to the mark. Watching Manisha Koirala back on the big screen is the only thing to ask from the makers, whatever she does apart from that is a bonus.
Sachin Khedekar as the Nana doesn’t do much to talk about. Ankur Rathee does well to be the dumb Shehzada of the story, but how dumb is too dumb? Rajpal Yadav, Sunny Hinduja & Ali Asgar in their special appearances do nothing special.
Shehzada Movie Review: Direction, Music
I loved Rohit Dhawan’s Desi Boyz, but didn’t see Dishoom, and didn’t like this one. Apart from the partial blame of why to remake a mediocre story, Rohit doesn’t add anything of value to differentiate this from the original.
Out of everyone on the cast & crew list, I never thought Pritam would be the weakest link in the film. The original’s music was its strength and this one weakens the entire feel of the story.
Shehzada Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Shehzada nails the worst parts (story, screenplay) of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and misses to master its best parts (music, lead’s swag) making this one a poor attempt at adapting a ho-hum story.
Shehzada releases on 17th February, 2023.
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For more recommendations, read our Fursat Movie Review here.