Babu moshai Bandook baaz

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Rating: 3.5/5

123 minutes

Director: Kushan Nandy

If you like Anurag Kashyap’s 2012 ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, then you will surely like Kushan Nandy’s ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’.  Set in the middle of UP, Babu Bihari (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) plays a

contract killer, who has nosecond thoughts or guilt pangs about killing anybody, if the the price is right. Though his motto is never to kill for free, he breaks his own rule when he meets Phulwa (Bidita Bag), a cobbler and falls in love with her. She starts living with him after he shoots dead the men who had raped her.

But trouble for Babu begins here. The two men he has bumped off, are politician Sumitra’s (Divya Dutta) men and Sumitra happens to be Babu’s ‘raakhi’ sister and client. Also, a new killer, Baanke Bihari (Jatin Goswami), who looks up to Babu as his guru, arrives on the scene, complicatingmatters for Babu. Babu and Banke both receive a contract, from Dubey (Anil George), Sumitra’s political rival, for killing the same three people.

To settle this matter, Babu and Banke play a game. Whoever bumps off two out of the three, will emerge winner and the loser will step down.Unexpected turns and twists begin to emerge from here on, that carry on till the end.

What works for this crime drama are the dark and witty one liners, written by Ghalib Asad Bhopali (son of yesteryear lyricist Asad Bhopali)that are bound to evoke laughter. Jatin Goswami as Banke matches Babu’s act at every stage. Newcomer Bidita Bag, fresh and different from conventional Bollywood heroines, appears at ease, even in the lovemaking scenes with Nawazuddin that have been shot nicely and are not vulgar. She will remind the viewer of a raw and new Kangana Ranaut when she entered the industry. Both Jatin and Bidita are good finds for Bollywood.

Divya Dutta as the paan-chewing politician, spitting abuses, as always is good, while Anil George as Dubey, Shraddha Das as Baanke’s girlfriend Yasmeen, and Murli Sharma as Divya’s right hand lend fine support. A special mention for Bhagwan Tiwari as the corrupt cop, for playing his character with an honest performance. His track with his wife and multiple sons and his attempts to have a daughter is hilarious.

Filmmaker Kushan Nandy engages the viewer with his characters, plot and slick direction. The mind-gamesplayed between Babu and Baanke, their tongue in cheek banter and friendship cum rivalry that endsin the dangerous game of Russian Rouletteis enjoyable.

Cinematography by cinematographer Vishal Vittal from Prague, is brilliant. He brings out the landscapes and colours, giving the films a rustic Neo Western touch.  The narrative could have been more taut but the scenes and dialogues are engaging and do not drag the film. The dialogues rustic in local UP, where cuss words are used into every sentence by both men and women alike is natural and beleivable.

Nawazuddinis brilliant. Never a moment of dullness when he is on the screen. The background score deserves a special mention as it lifts the scenes whenever required and is soft when it needs to be in the background. ‘Chulbuli chulbuli zindagi’ by Papon is excellent and will take you back to the ‘70s. Also the Postman song is very quirky.

So if you happen to be a fan of the ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and ‘Ishqiya’ sort of films, this good effort by Kushan Nandy is for you. The 124 minute film with its solid performances is bang on. Make it your weekend watch.