Television

‘Badlapur Boys’…Breathless!

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MUMBAI: Like most Indian sports films, Badlapur Boys is more about underdogs taking the top spot. From Lagaan (the poster design resembles that of Lagaan) and Iqbal to Hawa Hawaai and many others in between, such themes are common now. The basic plot remains the same, only the sport in the question changes. Here, it is Kabaddi.

Badlapur and neighbouring 42 villages were renowned for cultivating Basmati rice but the failing rains over the years has rendered the area barren and poor. The villagers want the government to build a canal to bring water to these villages. A number of representations to the local District Collector fail to bear any results; their file is stuck in the system and has not reached the CM of the state.

During one of the representations to the DC, one of the villagers threatens to self-immolate if the DC does not move their file. On the 16th day he does so, leaving his young son and wife behind. The case has been closed declaring the man mad. The son, who loved playing Kabaddi, grows up to be NIshan. He now works as a farm labourer in the next village. Caught playing Kabaddi while the goats he was tending to destroyed some crop in a field, he is made to swear he will never play the sport again.

 

   
 

Producers: Karrm Movies.

Director: Shailesh Verma.

Cast: Nishan, Saranya Mohan, Annu Kapoor, Kishori Shahane, Puja Gupta.

NIshan grows up watching other kids playing Kabaddi from the side-lines. But, the problem is, their Badlapur team is a perpetual loser. They never win, so much so that they decide to play the next match with a team which is much worse than them to restore some prestige to their name in the village where everybody makes fun of them.

During the village fair, an ex-national Kabaddi team member and the present coach of the Railways’ team, Annu Kapoor, is the chief guest. He seems to have seen a spark in the village team and offers to coach it. The team is na?ve and learns about 75th UP state Kabaddi championships in Allahabad. From total losers, they aspire to participate there and save their reputation once and for all. From then on, things work in their favour, especially that of Nishan. Once forbidden to play the sport, he is relieved of his promise when one of the members abstains.

The tournament is between 32 teams from UP but, again, one team has met with an accident and can’t make it. Conveniently, Annu Kapoor wields a considerable amount of influence to change the basic rules and get the lads from Badlapur to fill in as the 32nd team! They need a name and he names them Badlapur Boys.

The rest is like what we have been seeing since ages in films. The hero takes a beating initially only to bounce back later: Badlapur Boys go on winning bout after bout. In between, there has been some scheming and backstabbing. The hero, Nishan is hurt on purpose to disable him and to stop him from playing more matches. Playing any more could prove fatal for him but he is determined to play, win and meet the CM (who is the chief guest) face to face and tell him what his father did and why.

The Badlapur Boys win the finals, the sacrifice of Nishan is rewarded a few years later with a canal for the village farmers.

Kabaddi has started getting some attention recently with league tournaments with big shot team owners backing them. But the attention has not been enough to draw people to spend on watching the games. Also, the one watched at league level on TV is real pro compared to rather tame games played in the movie.

‘Main Aur Mr Right’…Wrong movie!

Main Aur Mr Right is a kind of contemporary film where a group of young friends, all well placed in their lives, meet on regular basis and have a blast. Except one of them, Shenaz Treasurywala, all are taken: one couple is married, one is engaged and the one is together but not committed yet.

 

Producers: Pooja Gujral, Aseem Raees.

Director: Adeeb Rais.

Cast: Shenaz Treasurywala, Barun Sobti.

Shenaz Treasurywala runs a casting agency and looking at the kind of ‘talent’ she screens regularly, it would be surprising if her agency makes any money. Her friends always bug her with suggestions to find a man and settle down in life. However, Shenaz is too choosy, she is Ms Perfect and won’t plan to marry unless she meets her Mr Right.

Shenaz’s opinion about herself is rather high and no man impresses her. But her friends just won’t let her be. And, just to stop them bothering her every day, she announces one day that she has finally found her Mr Right and she will present him to the gang soon. Being a talent manager, she is flooded with pictures and portfolios and remembers one of them of a good-looking lad, Barun Sobti. He aspires to be an actor in league with Salman Khan who is his idol and whose name he swears by.

Things are not as easy as Shenaz imagined. Barun is a typical rough shod Punjabi who does everything that is gross. He lacks in style and class that Shenaz and her friends relate to. But, she takes it as a challenge to mould and polish Barun so that she could present him to her friends. Of course, he would have come from abroad to return soon. She offers a hefty sum for role playing to the struggler who, like most strugglers, is broke most of the time.

Barun has perfected everything Shenaz wished and she is ready to take him to her friends. The presentation of ‘Mr Right’ finally happens; all are duly impressed. He blends with the group well and becomes a part of it. The bonhomie continues but Barun soon realises that the bonhomie is fake, all the friends are keeping their true feelings from each other and usually lying to keep the friendship going. His honest na?ve self begins pointing out the follies of every one of them. Till, one fine evening, while the friends are having a nice time at a restaurant, the bubble bursts; Barun is recognised by one of his struggler friends who is a waiter in the same restaurant. This was just when all the friends were confessing to their wrongdoings.

The friendships are shattered, so are the pairs. As an outcome of this breaking of the clique, Shenaz finds her Mr Right within the group itself. That lasts for a few months until she starts missing Barun. The contemporary film then ends on a traditional note as the idea of Mr Right is dumped and Barun and Shenaz are the real item instead of role playing.

Direction is average. The film tries to tell too many stories in one go. Bappi Lahiri has scored some hummable music. Cinematography is fair. Editing is lacking. Performances are generally passable except that of Barun Sobti who is impressive.

Main Aur Mr Right shows no prospects at the box office.

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