Bachchhan Paandey is a remake of the Tamil film Jigarthanda (2014), which itself was a copy of the Korean film A Dirty Carnival (2006). It revolves around rookie filmmaker Myra Devekar (Kriti Sanon)’s attempt to make a film about feared gangster Bachchhan Paandey (Akshay Kumar), with the help of her longtime friend Vishu (Arshad Warsi). Bachchhan Paandey is a shoot first and ask questions later, a kind of gangster operating from a fictional place called Baghwa which is a mix of UP, MP and Rajasthani. He takes pleasure in killing people and is presented as a ruthless and ruthless man. He’s surrounded by oddly-named henchmen like Virgin (Prateik Babbar), Pendulum (Abhimanyu Singh), Buffariya (Sanjay Mishra) and Kaandi (Saharsh Kumar) – an obvious nod to similarly named characters in Gangs Of Wasseypur. Many misadventures later, Myra and Vishu meet Bachchhan, who agrees to tell them his life story. Later, Vishu suggests that Bachchhan should play himself on screen and things get even more complicated after that.
The idea of a film about a gangster was also part of the plot of Welcome (2009), although Nana Patekar played the don there. The first half is dedicated to setting up the backstory. Despite all the murders, Bachchhan and his band of misfits are portrayed as buffoons. We are meant to laugh as they kill, maim and torture random people. The second half is devoted to the making of the film within the film. This is where Pankaj Tripathy’s character, Bhaves Guruji, plays a Gujarati drama teacher. Bhaves begins giving them method lessons, basically teaching the gangsters how to behave like gangsters. His antics and filming sequences are worth a certain amount of laughter. It’s a nice break from the non-stop action we’ve watched so far. In the end, we see a reformed Bachchhan become a Mumbai industry player, while Myra goes on to make better films…
Let’s not forget Jacqueline Fernandez’s character, Sophie. In a flashback, we learn that she was a foreigner who fell in love with Bachchhan. They were all ready to get married when tragedy struck. Jacqueline has been performing such cameos all her life and she can do them with her eyes closed now. Yes, it adds to the oomph factor, but that’s about it.
Farhad Samji filled his film with the comedy genre of Whatsapp jokes. It responds to the lowest common denominator and is way too loud and over the top. The action sequences are also massive. As said before, the film only picks up speed in the second half. Perhaps a non-linear narrative would have worked better in his favor. In its current form, it looks too bloated and contrived.
The film is filled with undoubtedly reliable actors who know how to do their job. Prateik is blessed to play a character with a twist and does a good job. Sanjay Mishra, Abhimanyu Singh and even Pankaj Mishra play one-dimensional roles with characteristic professionalism. Arshad Warsi, who has made a career out of playing reliable supporting roles, pokes fun at himself by playing yet another such character. His self-deprecating humor is endearing. The film rests on the shoulders of its two protagonists. Akshay Kumar, who, by the way, played a character called Bachchhan Panday in his 2008 release Tashan, completely takes on the job role. He sincerely delivers all the absurdities expected of such a character and has a field day. His energy, dedication and sincerity are truly commendable. He’s known for elevating poorly written movies with his charisma and commanding presence and does it here too. Kriti Sanon surprisingly gets a meaty role in an Akshay Kumar vehicle and runs away with the opportunity. She is the very soul of a rookie filmmaker who hustle every step of the way to success. Her camaraderie with Arshad Warsi and later Akshay Kumar is perfect and she endears herself to the audience.
Bachchhan Panday is a case of missed opportunity. He survives thanks to Akshay and Kriti. Both deserve to be cast in a better movie together…
Trailer: Bachchan Pandey
Ronak Kotecha, March 18, 2022, 5:55 PM IST
Story: When a struggling filmmaker and actor sets out to do a biography of one of the most feared gangsters, they have no idea how crazy and dangerous it’s going to be. “Bachchhan Paandey” is a remake of the 2014 Tamil film “Jigarthanda”.
Review: Welcome to Bagwa. It’s such an anarchic land where cops are beaten by goons in broad daylight and journalists are burned alive. the gundas here only speak the language of guns and the most notorious of all is Bachchhan Paandey (Askhay Kumar) – jiski aankhein aur dil dono patthar ke hain. The larger-than-life persona of this hitman catches the eye of struggling filmmaker Myra (Kriti Sanon), who lands in Baghwa to make a full-fledged feature film about him. His friend Vishu (Arshad Warsi) is a struggling actor, who reluctantly agrees to help him on this doomed mission and thus begins a bloody roller coaster ride marked by death and destruction.
It’s an interesting plot, but sadly, we’ve seen it all in the trailer which pretty much tells the whole story. ‘Bachchhan Paandey’ does not deliver the goods consistently. It’s a massive setup that seems heavily inspired by the Tarantino film school. There are extensive slow-motion shots of the protagonist driving in his vintage open car through the dry, arid landscapes of northern India and eerily cheerful background music that ensures his dark deeds don’t arouse much fear in the public. So, does this evoke comedy? Well, no, because other than a few jokes (as seen in the trailer), there aren’t many more to begin with. This despite a mix of talented character artists, known for their impeccable comedic timing. Like Sanjay Mishra, who plays the stuttering Bufferia Chacha or Pankaj Tripathi, as acting coach tyrant Bhaves Bhoplo from Gujarat. They bring laughs when they deliver their punchlines, but their characters are overshadowed by so much else going on in this chaotic mess. Arshad Warsi gets more screen time but never gets a chance to shine in this dark comedy.
The first half is used to set up the story, but doesn’t move at the desired pace. Fortunately, there are some minor conflicts and twists that keep you looking forward to the second half, but the storyline takes forever to make a point. The music is a big disappointment and only adds to the runtime.
Akshay Kumar has the most fun playing a crazed killer, who has a story, but it’s barely compelling. Kriti Sanon is gorgeous and does well in character. Jacqueline Fernandez as Paandey’s girlfriend, Sophie, is so repetitive and restrained that it’s hard to distinguish her from many of her previous roles. Ditto for Prateik Babbar, who once again plays a clumsy moron and leaves no trace. Abhimanyu Singh and Saharsh Kumar Shukla are entertaining as Pendulum and Kaandi respectively.
For action fans, there’s enough brutality and bloodshed that’s shot in slick frames. Given that it’s a remake of a formulaic film in the dark action-comedy genre, ‘Bachchhan Paandey’ replicates what once worked in the south. But even with all its grandeur and power, this one only manages to entertain in bits and pieces.