“Mujhe sirf profit mein interest hai,” says Saif Ali Khan(Shakun Kothari) and we know at the instant that ‘Baazaar’ would be India’s answer to Hollywood’s ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’. But apart from the stock market similarities, there is hardly anything that debutant director Gauravv K. Chawla’s new film has to offer. There are solid performances alright, but with the weak script and a predictable plot, you wished there was something more to this dark and deceitful drama.
Rizwan Ahmed (Rohan Mehra) lands in Mumbai to settle down. But this Allahabad youngster does not want to make it big in Bollywood; instead he dreams of working with his idol Shakun Kothari – the matchless stock market trader, who does not believe in running marathons while in the stock exchange game. Rizwan steadily ascends the ladder in the business, until he comes face-to-face with his mentor, asking him to take him as his protégé. Shakun tests the new lad and finds that the chhokra is hushaar enough to be trusted.
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But little does Rizwan know that Shakun is a vile and venomous tycoon, who has employed a thousand amoral ways to get to where he is today. Manipulating people by smuggling diamonds on express trains, plying between Surat and Mumbai in his prime, Shakun has risen to power, which is his only driving force, together with the wealth he has accumulated over the years. With Rizwan now wanting to step into his mentor’s shoes, equations change every minute and it now becomes a game of power, deceit and corruption.
‘Baazaar’ is a smartly-written movie, but it has its own flaws, which mar the entire movie-watching experience. The theme of stock market is not one of Bollywood’s favourites and first-timer Gauravv Chawla could have cashed in on it. However, his film lacks the potential to strike gold at the box office. The dark overtones, the unethical stock market practices, the immoral men and women depicted in the movie are certain areas that need a reality check. The first half is melodramatic and long-drawn-out and the storyline takes its own time to develop, as is the case with introduction of the characters. Also, audiences have to wait a bit too long to witness the protégé-meets-mentor scene, which might throw their patience out of the window!
However, amid all these negatives, the best part of ‘Baazaar’ is Saif Ali Khan. His malicious and wicked power-hungry Gujju stock trader is very well written and the actor has made sure he justifies his act. His grey streak of hair, along with the grey streak in his character, is hard to miss. The Gujju accent in some places is spot-on and Saif’s efforts to outshine the others in the cast clearly show in the film.
Yesteryear actor Vinod Mehra’s son, Rohan Mehra, in his debut act, manages to leave an impression. Although he lacks his father’s charisma, Rohan acts well and sinks his teeth deep into his character and matches Saif’s onscreen persona to quite an extent. Chitrangada Singh as Saif’s wife Mandira could not do much in her role, and same goes for powerhouse of talent Radhika Apte. She plays Mehra’s colleague and lady love and that is about it for the sultry actress, who could have asked for more.
Screenplay is good and so is the cinematography. The second half is racy. Songs are situational but forgettable. The only faults lie in the editing and writing department, which could have given us a crisper and taut premise that could have kept us on tenterhooks. All in all, ‘Baazaar’ is a movie that is marked by many flaws and technical stock market jargons that could have been done away with, to make it more worthwhile.
Eventznu Rates: * *
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