Film: Baadshaho

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Vidyut Jamwal, Illeana Dcruz, Esha Gupta, Sanjay Mishra, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sunny Leone, Denzil Smith, Ravi Kale, Sharad Kelkar

Director: Milan Luthria

The then PM Indira Gandhi proclaimed Emergency in 1975 but three years before that Royal Bodyguard Bhawani Singh (Ajay Devgn) swore his allegiance and love to Maharani Geetanjali (Illeana Dcruz) while Army commander Sehar Singh (Vidyut Jamwal) also swore by his love for her round about the same time. The haughty Rajasthani Royal was of course (methinks) playing the field while her praja (people) were suffering in penury. Her shiny gold jewels are what everyone involved is after.

At a party held at her palace, the Maharani is shown taking Sanjeev (Priyanshu Chatterjee) –obliquely referred to as a dastardly Politician known to be the power behind the PM’s seat, to task, for laying his slimy fingers on her chaste hands. He, of course, vows to clean out her cellars of the gold stash she’s scurried away in a hole way below common sight. He gets his revenge and so now it’s time for hers. She is held behind bars while her paramours set out to avenge her humiliation. And the rest is history…or so they think!

The cat and mouse game played out here makes a mockery of all the hardships endured during the Emergency. The stupidest dialogues come out of the mouths of the two yodhas (if you can call them that) enlisted to cut to the chase. A dressed-for-partying Sanjana (Esha Gupta) and an inveterate drunk, Guruji (Sanjay Mishra) are also an integral part of the motley heist team put together behind closed doors.  Denzil Smith, Sharad Kelkar, and a few more uniformed men are on their chase. But don’t think that you know who is playing for which side. Switching affiliations are part and parcel of the game being played here.

The narrative has an unbecomingly flaccid tempo and the action (other than Jamwal’s athletic displays) is shop worn and uninteresting, to say the least. Threadbare logic and ridiculous turns make the telling of it completely unpalatable. Milan Luthria’s helming is standard issue and totally unbecoming. There’s really nothing here to catch your interest. Technically speaking there’s nothing distinctive about this product other than the low-key background score employed here. Ajay Devgn’s seamy posturing, Illeana’s Haughty lisping, Esha’s ridiculous get-up, Hashmi’s studied lover boy swagger and Sanjay Mishra’s fish-out-of-water antics only pile on the miseries further. It’s a pity that the real bounty (and I am talking about talent) is lost in the pursuit of such putrefied showmanship!