Movie Reviews

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz Movie Review: Nawazuddin Does A bad-Sex Day Version Of Anurag Kashyap

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz

Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bidita Bag, Divya Dutta, JatinGoswami

Directed by: Kushan Nandy

Rating: *(1 star)

There is  no polite way of saying this. So let’s just put it straight out.Babumoshai Bandookbaaz  is a revolting violent  piece of cinema, almost sure to make the sensitive squirm if not throw up.

The  body-count and the bawdy encounters are high, so  high you sometimes feel the writer and  director pile them on(the bangs and the f..ks) only so we can be shocked out of our senses. But beyond a point, the gore is a  bore.And the sex is a  yawn.The much-discussed  lovemaking between the eager-to-score Nawaz and his eager-to-oblige co-star Bidita Bag are as erotic and titillating  as two canines on heat doing it on the road because…well… they don’t know any better and can’t wait to get home.

Nawaz plays a man who enjoys sex. He  copulates with frenzied but mechanical vigour with Bidita and later, much later, with his protégé’s girlfriend (Shradha Das). The women,obviously eager to project rural liberalism, seem  willing and eager to  have sex anywhere anytime. In one sequence  the very accomplished Divya Dutta  is on the run from her  purported assassin  with a compromised burly cop(BhagwanTiwari). She  abuses him  physically and verbally and then lets him ….umm… do pokey-pokey with her.

A little  later Divya buried to her beck in a scorpion-infested marshland. This is what happens to bossy over-sex female outlaws.

This, then is the blueprint of Kushan Nandy’s wild wild wasteland.Nawaz is the  assassin  on rent who doesn’t think twice before pulling the trigger, as long as  he gets paid his price.He performs the killings with rent-card precision and  discusses the murder as any professional would discuss his day’s activities.

Manoj Bajpai got to that level of violent professionalism in RamGopal Varma’s Satya two decades ago.Nawaz for all his credible crassness  must stop playing depraved morally reprehensible  characters who  kills and maims with chuckling pleasure.

Characters are thrown in the simmering cauldron of  mofussil carnage randomly to titillate with their cheesy fantasies.A senior gangster(AnilGeorge)  likes to watch his naked wife being massaged  by a stranger.A  middleaged cop(Bhagwan  Tiwari) makes his wife bear broods of sons until she can give him a daughter. The subverted patriarchy of such episodes is lost in the ear-shattering noise decibel generated by the characters self-serving antics.

The soundtrack is as painfully selfconscious as anything else this emasculated emaciated ode to Kashyap and Ritchie has to offer. I caught three songs from Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand playing lazily at three different points in the story.It’s all about effect rather than cause.

After watching him do it repeatedlty the shock-value of watchingNawaz perpetrate arbitrary  violence  is  long over. In BabumoshaiBandookbaaz he tackles his raunchy renegade’s character with smugness and  boredom. His right-hand man played by JatinGoswami scores merely on  novelty.Sorrily, Nawaz’s image of the creepy sociopath has reached a saturation point. So has the genre  of the gangster drama.

We’ve seen it all in the cinema of Ram Gopal Varma and AnuragKashyap.  Kushan Nandy brings nothing new to the theme. By merely accelerating the violence murder mayhem and copulation the narrative only exposes  its own anxious insecurities so  clumsily cloaked in random pumping of  bullets and  other phallic objects.

Babumoshai Bandookbaaz attempts to forge  a deep bond between physical  violence and lawlessness in the badlands of  Uttar Pradesh. But the merger of mayhem and luridity never transcends the high-school level of  attention-seeking.There isa  repeated shot of  a young boy riding his mp’bike with  his father as pillion.Such visuals are poor compensation for  bonafide insight into how gangsterism has evolved since Varma and Kashyap played with the genre.

The most interesting factor among the fractured plot points is the guru-mentor relationship between Nawaz and Goswami. There is a kind of smothered Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid in the way the duo play off against one  another. In one sequence after Nawaz’s mistress performs a raunchy dance for him and his pupil , Nawaz in a drunken generous mood, offers to let her have fun with the younger man. It’s a moment that defines the film’s spirit of sustained sensationalism.

The violence  is bred not from the director’s inner conviction but from the yearning to shock us with  groaning heaving moaning in bed and in the bloodshed. Midway through the orgy of  pogrom targeted alike at debauched victims and  good taste,T S Eliots words from The Wasteland resonate in Nandy’s  own wasteland:things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, a blood-dimmed tide is loosed.

Too bad we are trapped in this artistic anarchy .Run, while you still have a chance.

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