Around Diwali time, there is a surge in the release of big-ticket Bollywood films. Saif Ali Khan, flush with the success of the recent Netflix TV show “Sacred Games” (read my review of that here), joined the Diwali bandwagon with Gauravv K. Chawla’s “Baazaar”. Unfortunately the movie was very disappointing.
A small-town stockbroker from Allahabad (Rohan Mehra) yearns to make it big in the financial capital of India, Mumbai. After a series of events, he gains success by joining hands with an extremely successful business shark (Saif Ali Khan). However, this alliance is at the cost of his integrity and everything he holds dear, as part of his small-town upbringing.
The movie is excruciatingly long. The subject has the potential to be very interesting, but it’s handling and unnecessary moral tone make it tedious and tiring. With half its annoying plot twists and all of its sermonizing dialogues removed, the film may have fared better.
The story is relevant but the film and its direction seem very dated, in the style of Bollywood films from 5-10 years ago. Sketchy and irritating dialogues don’t help its case either. The editing especially leaves much to be desired. Despite having Honey Singh on board, the music is unremarkable.
The actors all have potential but lack conviction and a certain amount of chemistry. The new boy, Rohan Mehra, isn’t bad at his craft, but is forgettable in appearance and manner. Saif Ali Khan does a good job of impersonating a Gujarati businessman, but his talent alone isn’t enough to pull this sinking ship. Radhika Apte and Chitrangada Singh are unnecessary players only added in for glamour.
The director is squarely to blame for this fiasco. Clearly inspired by the fantastic “Wolf of Wall Street”, this film could’ve been highly engaging. Unfortunately, it was cringe-y, implausible and downright boring.
If you’re looking to watch an excellent film this festive season check out “Badhaai Ho” (read my review here) instead. If you’ve already seen that, save your money on “Baazaar” and catch moderately good films like “Venom” (read review here) and “Sui Dhaaga” (read review here) instead.
Film rating: 1.5/5
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