Banjo...Out of sync

MUMBAI: Banjo is a musical love story of a young man with a mastery over the stringed instrument. The banjo is said to have its origin in Africa. The instrument is seen to be more popular during festivals in India.

Riteish Deshmukh is shown in the movie to be excelling in playing banjo and leads a group of friends who play music as a hobby as well as to make some extra money besides their regular jobs. He has three partners, each specializing in playing an instrument. Riteish works for a local corporator collecting haftas (extortion) for him.

The demand for the musical group is seasonal, but there are a number of such banjo groups. The competition is stiff. However, the rivalry between two such groups is severe, which often leads to fist fights. On one such Ganesh festival, Riteish and his band come up with a number which becomes instantly popular with the local folk.

Sitting far away in New York, Nargis Fakhri hears the number which catches her attention. Nargis is preparing to participate in a music show and has been scouting for talent. She thinks she found the group she has been looking for. She arrives in India and lands up right near his house.

Banjo playing is not considered a glorious art and, though appointed as a guide to show her around the settlement and help her search, he does not disclose his identity to Nargis. While he helps her, he also falls in love with her.

Nargis goes on auditioning group after group, only to be disappointed. She is finally ready to give up and decides to go back. Riteish is heartbroken. He wants to drown his sadness in music, and asks his friends to play though they have just returned from a gig and are tired. Nargis catches the sound from afar and realizes who he was. So close yet so far. Nargis is still sent back in disappointment, for, the group members have parted ways. Riteish has been framed in the murder of the corporator and sent to jail. The happy ending is certain but not so soon.

Banjo moves on predictable lines of an underdog whose dreams are in the process of being realized as well as the usual underdog falling in love with the first girl showing concern. While the story or scripting don’t inspire much, the main drawback is the lack of good music that is mandatory for a musical. While the songs are good for gully dances due to the heavy beats played to Maharashtrian taste, the Bappa song being the mainstay, the only sober number worth humming is Rahemokaram.

The cinematography is good. Riteish performs well and Nargis tries. The supporting actors make sincere efforts.

Banjo could have been made for Marathi audience where the industry is thriving presently. Going for pan-India market has not helped as the opening is poor and so are the prospects.

Producers: Krishika Lulla

Director: Ravi Jadhav

Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakri, Mohan Kapoor.

Dil Sala Sanki...God save your soul!

Another film about UP bahubalis and their love story! Dil Sala Sanki is a love triangle based in the city of Jhansi.  

Jimmy Shergill is playing the local don in Jhansi. He has inherited the reign from his foster father who wished for Jimmy to share it with his adopted son. But, Jimmy would have nothing of that sort. He kills both, the other heir as well as his father. He wishes to rule alone.

While the rest of the city is scared of Jimmy and his goons, he has a fan in Yogesh Kumar, the son of a local barber, Avtar Gill, who wants to follow in the footsteps of Jimmy. Yogesh goes around beating up people and expects to be feared for his acts.

Yogesh takes up small assignments like settling disputes. On one such case, he is asked to get vacated a house occupied by goons as the landlord’s new tenant, Shakti Kapoor, a school teacher, has rented it out. True to the tradition of goon stories, Yogesh falls in love with Shakti’s daughter, played by Madalsa Sharma. He starts with the usual routine followed by all filmy lovelorn goons: stalk.

It is raining and Manalsa is shown as going berserk dancing on a lonely road. Jimmy happens to pass by, sees her, and falls in love too although he has a loving wife at home, played by Harshita Bhatt. Being a bahubali who is not answerable to anybody, he simply kills Harshita.

Jimmy soon realizes that his protégée, Yogesh, also loves Madlasa. The fight to finish begins.

Dil Sala Sanki is a routine, humdrum love story lacking imagination or the grammar of filmmaking. The casting is curious as the hero, Yogesh Kumar, has zero acting skills or screen presence. Jimmy has a limited role. Madalsa is okay. Rest of the aspects merit no mention.

Dil Sala Sanki has no prospects despite its limited exploitation at few screens in single show a day.

Producer: SK Pictures P Ltd.

Director: Sushi Kailash.

Cast: Yogesh Kumar, Madalsa Sharma, Jimmy Shergill, Shakti Kapoor, Avtar Gill.

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