Star cast: Amit Riyaan, Ali Asgar, Sharbani Mukherjee, Chetan Pandit.

Plot: Amit Riyaan, a young man from Bihar, hijacks a public transport bus in Bombay and holds passengers hostage, in protest against the anti-North Indians agitation of a political party in Maharashtra. It is inspired by the real-life incident in which the Bihari youth was killed by the police.

What’s Good: Nothing really.

What’s Bad: The childish script; the amateur performances of some actors; the unexciting drama.

Verdict: 332… Mumbai To India is neither for Mumbai nor for any other part of India.

Loo break: Anytime!

K Sera Sera Box Office Pvt. Ltd. and Sangeeth Sivan Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s 332… Mumbai To India (UA) is the story of a misled young man from Bihar who has to pay for his stupidity with his life. It is based on the notorious real-life incident of a Bihari boy who held passengers in a BEST bus in Bombay hostage to draw people’s attention to the issue of Maharashtrians versus North Indians which had taken an ugly turn some time ago.

Rahul Raj (Amit Riyaan), who hails from Bihar, hijacks a public transport double-decker bus (no. 332) in Bombay and holds the conductor on the upper deck and some passengers hostage to draw people’s attention to the atrocities on North Indians perpetrated by a political party in Maharashtra, fighting for what it feels is the birthright of Maharashtrians. Even while Rahul Raj is asking for the media to be called and the police commissioner to be summoned to hear him out, the hostage drama, being televised, sparks off a mini riot between Maharashtrians and North Indians in a bylane of Bombay. It likewise gives rise to tension between a Bihari student and a Maharashtrian student living in the same hostel in North India. This incident also has a bearing on autorickshaw driver Ismail (Ali Asgar) who belongs to neither community at war, when he is beaten up by North Indians, and his autorickshaw, damaged.

The police helplessly watch the hostage drama being played out but as soon as they get an opportunity, they kill Rahul Raj in the bus.

Mahesh Pandey’s script is childish, to say the least. The writer begins on the premise that every viewer is aware of the real-life drama and, probably because of that, he doesn’t bother to establish a lot of things. Of course, this is not the way to write a script. The screenplay looks so half-baked that even inherently exciting scenes look lifeless and silly. Note, for instance, the huddled hostages – the positions in which they are seated would make one laugh, not fear for their lives! Also, note when two police officers approach the hijacked bus and try to get into it, all through, trying hard to not be seen by Rahul Raj. Now, if Rahul Raj is on the upper deck of the bus, all he has to do is peep out of the window because the moment the police officers are not in sight from his view point, it is obvious that they are trying to enter the bus. Surely, they wouldn’t go on a picnic in such a panic situation! And yet, the writer never shows the point of view of Rahul Raj when the police officers tip-toe to the bus – as if not showing his point of view would be enough to establish that he couldn’t know that the policemen were nearing him.

All in all, the story and screenplay are shoddily written and fail to involve the audience. Besides, basing an entire film on just one incident, howsoever interesting, is not the wisest thing to do – at least not when the script is so half-hearted.

The climax, in which all the enemies coincidentally are holding each other’s hands during a show of solidarity and unity looks too contrived to be believable.

Amit Riyaan does an average job, partly because the script is so weak. Sharbani Mukherjee is sincere. Hiten Rajgore fails to impress. Chetan Pandit is alright. Ali Asgar performs quite well. Kishwar Merchant, Vijay Mishra, Rohit Pathak and Monty Bakshi fill the bill.

Mahesh Pandey’s direction is as dull as his script. The narration fails to involve the audience. The numerous beeps ordered by the CBFC dilute the impact even more, and they also irritate the viewer. Shamir Tandon’s music and Amal Donwaar’s lyrics are functional. Background score (Sunil Singh) is unimpressive. Krishna Ramanan’s cinematography is ordinary. Editing by Chirag Jain is alright. Production and technical values pass muster.

On the whole, 332… Mumbai To India is an amateur attempt and a waste of effort. It may be a low-budget fare (investment: less than Rs. 3 crore) but its chances at the ticket windows are almost nil.

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