Coming with Ajay Devgn 'chaubara' (fourth time), Milan Luthria's BAADSHAHO - the touted period heist desi western goes 'awara' (read wanderer, homeless) in search of those expected thrills & chills in the name of a captivating story.
Of all the sound (high-voltage action sequences, fist fights, shootouts and explosions) and no proper story to add to the glory, BAADSHAHO is a misfire which is made somewhat bearable by the talents of the dependable Ajay Devgn, the reliable Emraan Hashmi, the likable Sanjay Mishra and the action wonder Vidyut Jammwal. It's the presence of these four bad ass people in this proposed kick ass film that saves the day for routine action junkies who don't care about the plot, the characters and the actors performing those stunts on the screen.
Milan Luthria trusted ace in the writing department - Rajat Arora disappoints 'dobaara' after the forgettable second installment of OUATIM (ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI DOBAARA) in this fictional tale set in circa 1975. It's emergency and Rajput queen Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D'Cruz) has rejected the advances of weird Sanjay Gandhi lookalike (Priyanshu Chatterjee). Burning with insult, the lookalike orders seize of the ancestral royal property of the Maharani. Arrested and locked in jail Gitanjali Devi orders her trusted bodyguard Bhawani Singh (Ajay Devgn) to bring back her lost booty - the purkho ka khazana (royal ancestral wealth). A team of four desperadoes is formed by the trusted Bhavani Singh that includes a street smart rookie Daliya(Emraan Hashmi), an aged lock picker Tikla(Sanjay), and Maharani's another trusted aide but from the other sex Sanjana(Esha Gupta) the quartet is form and the rest of BAADSHAHO is the clash between the army which is taking the queens booty to Delhi and the harami's - the four desperadoes. An obstacle in the heist comes in the form of Major Seher Singh (Vidyut Jammwal) and things take some explosive turns.
Rajat Arora fails in offering any novelty and allows the film to lazily gain its momentum. Once the team of four desperadoes is formed and those signature lines are delivered, we sense some development which gains further momentum when Vidyut Jammwal chases Emraan Hashmi in his introduction raising hopes of a high adrenaline action that is bound to raise our pulse but alas its get drained out slowly and surely.
There is not much that holds BAADSHAHO to its expected potential. The plot doesn't offer Devgn and Jammwal much to explore their dare devilry. Jammwal just gets that intro and Devgn gets that single van stunt to showcase their action powers. Emraan and Sanjay Mishra are in their element.
Lacking in those seeti bajao, paisa vasool moments, the movie is just a parade of buffoonery going nowhere and gasping for help amidst the blast and noise. Ajay Devgn is likable but has nothing new to offer. The actor is handicapped by a timid, weak script. Vidyut is fine. Ileana looks pretty and plays the Maharani to the best of her capacity. Esha Gupta just adds that glam quotient and Sunny Leone manages to provide the oomph.
Production values are first rate and technically a much superior product, BAADSHAHO is deftly captured by Sunita Radia's lens. On the music front 'Mere Rashke Qamar' sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the pick of the lot.
All said and done, we conclude with the line said in the film by Devgn - 'Zindagi chaar din ki hai aur yeh chautha din din hai, live life king size'. Well BAADSHAHO (meaning Emperor/King in Hindi) may not be the promised 'King' size action drama but we hope the chautha (read fourth) collaboration of Milan Luthria and Ajay Devgn turns out to be the last disappointment from Milan Luthria who has churned out entertainment, entertainment and entertainment starting from KACHCHE DHAAGE, TAXI NO. 9211, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI & DIRTY PICTURE. We hope Milan Luthria starts entertaining us DOBAARA (again) in near future.