Director: Ajay Devgn
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Deepak Dobriyal, Vineet Singh, Gajraj Rao, Sanjay Mishra and others
Where: In theatres near you
Rating: 2.5 stars
Three-film-old director Ajay Devgn, who prefers to cast himself in his own directorial ventures as the male lead is back with yet another action thriller Bholaa. Like every other time, Bholaa too is about his life, his universe etc. He, who is a lord Shiva devotee is yet again on a mission to save his family, this time his only daughter, who has been living in an orphanage.
SP Diana (Tabu) — fondly called Dayan by the goons, traps tonnes of drugs that have been supplied secretly by gangster Nithari Bhaiya (Vineet Singh) and his younger brother Ashwathama (Deepak Dobriyal) all across Uttar Pradesh. To save their drugs, Ashwathama sends his army to kill Diana but Bholaa (Ajay Devgn), an ex-convict, joins the mission to stand against the enemies by chance. Will Bholaa reunite with his own daughter?
Bholaa is a remake of the Tamil film Kaithi (2019) directed by Vikram (2022) fame Lokesh Kanagaraj but lacks the pace and thrill of the original. The film doesn't have an extraordinary plot but loud BGM and unbelievable slow-motion action (rather too much action) that does the rest of the damage.
Due to a flawed narrative, this time Ajay couldn’t manage neither acting nor direction. The film falls flat in terms of emotional appeal. It clearly doesn’t let you feel for a father, who desperately wants to see his daughter amidst the unwanted mess. In the whole film, not even once, does one feel like rooting for the lonely daughter rather one ends up showering sympathy on an injured Diana and her endless chase.
Bholaa is nothing but yet another showreel of Ajay Devgn’s death-proof heroism, stylised action sequences and too much talking through eyes. While Shivaay (2016) and Runway 34 (2022) were great examples of a still-believable and entertaining film, Bholaa’s first half is a yawn fest and compels to reach interval soon. However, Ajay infuses humour aptly — less and required.
Ajay is fantastic, mildly repetitive — perhaps we have seen similar roles in his own similar films but nothing beats Tabu, who plays a tough cop here again after the celebrated Drishyam 2 (2022) and very recently Kuttey (2023). Not one to get typecast, Tabu outshines everyone in the cast. Deepak Dobriyal as a drug addict and psychopath goon looks feisty, scary and dangerous. His performance reassures us that villains are powerful. Vineet Singh as a hotheaded gangster behind the bars with his half face burnt is okayish.
The actor who draws attention is Gajraj Rao — Subramaniam, Zonal Head, NCB. His south Indian dialect is certainly not a mockery. He appears to be in the skin of the character as an informer. Amala Paul looks pretty in her short role and it’s easy for anyone to mistake her for Deepika Padukone. Raai Laxmi, who manoeuvres around drunken goons in a song Paan Dukaniya looks sultry enough.
Bholaa might cheat you with its not-so-entertaining screenplay, but the over-dramatic action can save you a tad bit from being totally disappointed.