Author: Dr. Mandar V. Bichu

Year: 2017
Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Vidyut Jamwal, Ileana D’Cruz, Esha Gupta, Sanjay Misra

Director Milan Luthria has enjoyed a good run at the box-office in the recent past. His last 3 films Once Upon A Time In Mumbai (2010), Dirty Picture (2011) and Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara (2013) have all made the cash registers ring.

As a film-maker, he has thrived on crime capers and multi-starrers, and Baadshaho, his new film, ticks both those boxes and brings together two of his favourite stars- Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. How is the experience of watching it in the theatre?

What’s the plot?

The year is 1975. The country is in the midst of Emergency. A powerful politician in Delhi (named Sanjeev!) decides to arrest Rani Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D’Cruz), a queen of a Rajasthani princely state, and nab her secretly stashed family treasure worth billions. The confiscated gold is to be transported from Jaipur to Delhi in an armoured truck, under a tough army-man’s watch. Meanwhile the queen’s ex-bodyguard (Ajay Devgn) and his hastily assembled crack team are planning a heist of this royal treasure. With the cops and the army on the guard, how will the heist take place?

What’s hot?

·       First 45 minutes of the film set up things interestingly for a dramatic latter part.

·       The ensemble cast does its job efficiently. As the queen, D’Cruz is sassy; playing the trusted lieutenant Devgn is restrained; Jamwal, as the tough army officer, is forceful and Hashmi enjoys himself as a colorful, kohl-eyed crook. With his funny one-liners, the old man Misra (playing an expert lock scrambler!) scores over the bigger, younger stars!

·       Sunny Leone’s item song works well.

What’s not?

·       The writer (Rajat Arora) and the director totally lose plot after about 45 minutes into the film. All that we get afterwards is an unending chain of clumsy, cacophonic chases and action sequences.

·       Esha Gupta is a misfit in the film, having little to do.

·       The abrupt meaningless climax leaves you bewildered.

.        The word Baadshaho makes  exactly one appearance during the whole film! Why that is the title is anybody's guess!


Luthria tries to make a film out of the germ of an interesting idea based on the real (and rumoured!) life-story of Jaipur’s Rani Gayatri Devi. A good heist film-story carefully works out the characters, heist- planning, tricky execution, betrayals and escape (or capture). Here the writer and the director seem clueless about how to develop the storyline and end up hastily rushing headlong into the chases and action sequences. The twists and turns are predictable, and the climax unfathomable!

It is yet another big budget, big banner film relying mainly on stars and gloss, while neglecting a strong plot. The end result is a disappointing, disjointed fare!


1.5 stars

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