Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two Stars)
Star cast: Saif Ali Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Jimmy Shergill, Ravi Kishan, Gulshan Grover, Raj Babbar, Chunky Pandey, Vidyut Jamwal, Mahie Gill
Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia
What’s Good: Jimmy Shergill.And Tigmanshu Dhulia’s attempt at giving commercial cinema an engaging flavor without being over the top.
What’s Bad: Dhulia dismally fails at his noble attempt.
Loo break: Quite a few.
Watch or Not?: It wouldn’t be a terrible thing if you miss Bullett Raja. To begin with, it was a pointless film that destroyed its gutsy premise to tatters. Attempting to strike a balance between over-the-top and ridiculous, this one is hands down Dhulia’s most immature attempt at filmmaking. From the man who made Paan Sigh Tomar filled with deft touches, Bullett Raja is a grotesque misfire.
Evolving in the milieu of U.P’s hinterland, the story of Bullett Raja is about the life of its titular character Raja Mishra (Saif Ali Khan). A strange course of events led his life from a scuffle to a gangwar. Ending up at a wedding party, he unusually bonds with Rudra (Jimmy Shergill). The gang attack at a wedding party ends them both in jail and thus begins their journey to becoming the warlords of the heartlands.
Emerging as the zone’s most dreadful men, the duo incurred the wrath of a famous businessman due to their don’t-care-a-damn attitude. The rivalry costed them a hefty price and then begins the journey Raja takes up to avenge the death of his loyal friend Rudra.
In these tough times, he find love with Mitali whose warmth gave him solace and made him even more determined to tick off the men who killed his loyal accomplice and best friend. Can Raja kill Rudra’s murderers or he himself gets entrapped in the web of industrial-political nexus who see him as a threat? Watch Bullett Rja to unravel the story.
Bullett Raja Review: Script Analysis
Bullett Raja sounds inappropriate from the word go! In my words, the film was flat devoid of fun, thrill, excitement or anything else it promises you. It is insipid, tasteless and so utterly lame that it take a toll on your intelligence at more than one occassions. How else will you make sense of the life of ‘political commando’ Raja Mishra (to be pronounced Misra henceforth) For those who do not have any connections with the anti-social world, Misra is a goon who functions with his accomplice (Rudra).
When the story begins, he is yet another unemployed young man looking for a job but life twists his story so differently that he ends up in jail with his friend Rudra and begin travelling on an entirely different path. While the story appears to be extremely believable and relatable so far completely transforms itself. It reduces to being a mockery of Indian law system as Dhulia and his co-writer conjure up a script that neither classifies as a satire nor a drama.
The two small time petty goons rise to the position of gangsters under the blessing of a local politician. It was all going hunky dory for the duo till a series of entirely needless twists and countertwists lead to the death of Rudra. The story shifts tinge as it now becomes a revenge tale with the absolutely undesired romantic angle added to it in vain.
The script itself is so unenjoyable that there is indeed very little to rescue it. The story has no embellishing factor that offers anything new to the audiences. It is the same old Sholay story served on the background of a political canvas that later takes color of a revenge plot with a climax that classifies as doltish and unintelligent. To gulp down a hotel like treatment in U.P’s jails and inmates controlling the political air via skype is hopefully just a myth. Also to add Rani Lakshmi Bai’s Marathi connect is worst possible clap-trap the writers could think of.
Bullett Raja Review: Star Performances
Saif Ali Khan has proved his mettle for such roles in Omkara but Raja Misra doesn’t even near the intensity of Langda Tyagi. Tyagi was fiery, fiesty, bold and intense. Raja is frivolous and lacks the enthusiasm and energy. It would be advisable that Saif sticks to playing the chocolate boy ala Hum Tum. Somehow he is way better suited in such roles.
Sonakshi Sinha plays the same role she has been playing every film ever since she entered the industry. Except for Lootera, the actress has not shown any inclination to try a new avatar. She is lax and content with the role meted out to her and the actress does the same without any qualms. I was all of praise for her after Lootera but seeing her slip into roles so much beneath her caliber is heart breaking.
Jimmy Shergill is an absolute show stealer. For the entire first half, it will be easier to give Saif a miss and keep your eyes latched on him. Despite the lack of support from the script, his chemistry with Saif stands as the film’s only impressive bit.
Raj Babbar is great in his bit and so is Gulshan Grover. But both Ravi Kishan and Vidyut Jamwal are wasted in the film. Vidyut especially makes a solid entry and shows traces of getting you glued to the screens. But with such limited screen space, the actor is seen wasting his caliber in a role that doesn’t do justice to his vivacious potential.
Bullett Raja Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Tigmanshu Dhulia bites off more than he can swallow in this one. An overtly ambitious project, Dhulia tries to bring aesthetic taste to mainstream commercial cinema with this film. But the film fails to turn into a defining work due to its predictable storyline. Also I have always admired Dhulia’s gritty style of narration but the screenplay of Bullett Raja is dishearteningly terrible. For the entire first hour of the film, the story fails to come to your grasp. Drama shifts so swiftly from one instance to another that the much needed serenity which is essential in storytelling remains obsolete in the film. It is impactless and inherently passive without the steam that I was expecting.
Both the film’s music and editing were shabby. The editing especially took the film down as it chopped off the more emotional sequences of the story and retained the drabber ones. However the film’s dialogues does evoke appreciation as a few of them were breathtaking in parts. Sample this, “Bhai mara hai hamara, badla lena parampara hai. Koi corporate culture nahin hai ki agli deal mein adjust kar lenge. ” Lines like these leave the maximum impact with the rustic effect that Dhulia had attempted to blow us over with. However, the alarmingly incoherent overall product has no flair that we associate with the director, which is the worst part of the film.
Bullett Raja Review: The Last Word
Bullett Raja with its grave minuses and fewer plusses is an underwhelming film much to my disbelief. The last few films of Dhulia had made me rank him amongst the top notch filmmakers of this generation. Unfortunately the man goes wrong with his favorite recipe of showcasing the ills of political nexus, as he hands out a story that barely has any moments and remains flat for most part. Saif Ali Khan and Jimmy Shergill’s chemistry is the only best part from the acting section. But in all its triteness, Bullett Raja is Dhulia’s most uninspired work till date. I am going with a 2/5 with the remark that commercial cinema is definitely not the director’s cup of tea.
Bullett Raja Trailer
Bullett Raja releases on 29th November, 2013.
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