Baadshaho has to be one of the dullest heist films ever made. Some incredibly lazy writing and even more lazier execution prove to be the death knell for this film whose premise was never too exciting to begin with.
Baadshaho gets into hot water at the conception stage itself with its rather silly, wafer thin plot. Set in the days of the Emergency in 1975, Rajasthani Princess Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D’Cruz) rebukes the sexual advances of Sanjeev (Priyanshu Chatterjee), the son of the Prime Minister. He has her arrested and confiscates her privy purse of much gold and jewelry. Gitanjali then assigns her former bodyguard and lover, Bhavani Singh (Ajay Devgn), to steal the consignment from a truck-cum-bunker carrying it to Delhi to restore it to her and her people.
To say that little thought or not even a semblance of layering has gone into the film is an understatement. The script does the minimum it has to for the story to keep moving, its twists and turns being much too predictable. As mentioned earlier, the writing is lazy. Much is made of a red button in the truck for its security if under attack for it only for it never to be used in the film. The Emergency is used as a backdrop to get the plot going but you never feel the era thereafter in the narrative. There is also rather poor period creation of the time by simply throwing in the token bell bottoms worn by Esha Gupta and Emraan Hashmi, the poster of the Jeetendra-Saira Banu starrer, Aakhri Dao (1975), or the rare old Ambassador car.
The characterizations are cardboard-like and are not aided by any of the performances either with the women coming off particularly badly. Esha Gupta is wasted largely as an onlooker and little else, while Ileana confirms once again she is a poor performer. She lacks elegance and grace and is as far from Gayatri Devi – on whom her character seems to be modeled – as chalk is from cheese. She is no femme fatale either. Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi have their odd moments, while Sanjay Mishra as the alcoholic safe cracker plays to the gallery with some of the best lines in the film. And though I’m no fan of Rajat Aroraa’s dialogue writing as all his characters in each of his films always seem to be sprouting his words rather then their own, there has, admittedly, been a wit about them. Sadly, barring Mishra’s occasional wisecracks, that too is largely missing in Baadshaho.
A rare positive, Mere Rashkar Qamar is the stand out song of the film. But otherwise barring a couple of action sequences and some polished camerawork by Sunita Radia, Baadshaho has little going for it, even technically.
All in all, avoidable fare.
Hindi, Action, Drama, Color