Badmaash Company Movie Review
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Debutante director Parmeet Sethi's BADMAASH COMPANY has no meat. It's superfluous and at times has plots that are unbelievable. It's about three friends and their quest to get rich. On their way to Bangkok, as 'carriers' for a smuggler, they are introduced to another, a girl who is also on the same mission. Thus begins the journey of the quartet of Shahid Kapoor, Meiyang Chang, Vir Das and Anushka Sharma.
Their plans to get-rich-fast are hackneyed and hilarious. First, they import shoes from Bangkok. Reebok, to be precise. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the movie is set in 1994, when this city was called Bombay and there was import duty of 120 percent on shoes. They ask for delivery of all 'right' shoes to one destination and the 'left' to another. They refuse to pick up the consignment and at the auction by the Customs, they pick it up in scrap, match the 'right' with the 'left' and sell of the shoes without paying the Duty and make a whooping profit!
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When then Finance Minister Manmonhan Singh opens the Indian market, shoe importing goes out of the window, and out fly the four to USA. There they use the same formula for gloves. When they are caught, they move into real estate and then all four fall apart. Yes, they come back again, but this time for honest project; for a shirt, which changes colour every time you wash it. This faulty consignment has come from Madras to Shahid's uncle's (Mama's) factory in the US. Mama feels he is looted. Shahid has another idea. He even gets Michael Jackson to wear these check shirts and influences the pricing at the stock market. Man, Man Man... Parmeet Sethi what have you done?
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I mean, going to USA and starting a scam by teenagers who have just made two trips to Bangkok is unbelievable. These guys are not going to Bhuleshawar! And since when has it has been easy to 'finger' the Americans in their own backyard with no fear of the law. These and more such silly gags is what BADMAASH COMPANY is all about.
Actually, the movie reminds me of MUMBAI SALSA released a few years ago, which also revolved around four friends. That was a more interesting script but for lack of star power, it fared badly.
I remember Shahid coming on television during the IPL matches a few weeks ago, saying that the con jobs were so believable, and convincing when he read the script that he immediately agreed to do the movie. Unbelievable!
Actor turned debutante director Parmeet Sethi made a startling confession on my show, a few days ago. He said, he had completed the entire script, with dialogue, in six days flat. I was apprehensive initially, but not once does Badmaash Company give you the feeling that it's a hurried job or the debutante writer-director, in a bid to start his first film, had left blanks incomplete.
The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. The adage holds true for the youth of today, who wish to attain the riches overnight and take an easy route/shortcut to climb the ladder of success. Just when you start thinking that you've conquered it all, that you're God, a stroke of bad luck brings you back to Ground Zero, to experience the harsh realities of life.
Parmeet walks the tight rope of handling a complex subject and offering entertainment simultaneously, in his very first film. To his credit, the film has several poignant and enjoyable moments that catch you by complete surprise. While the film has it all - the writing has the power to keep the viewer hooked - the film has a handicap in the form of its second hour, especially the penultimate 25-odd minutes.
Let me specify! With a running time of approx. 2.30 hours, the extra footage in the end - Shahid and friends trying to salvage his uncle's business - only adds to the length of the enterprise. Ideally, the film should've ended when the friends forgive each other and shake hands, after a series of personal and professional setbacks.
Final word? Badmaash Company is a decent attempt, with several captivating moments and power-packed performances by each and every member of its cast. We often grudge that entertainment-laden films make no sense these days, but this one entertains and also makes sense. Watch it!
Badmaash Company is set in the 1990s in middle class Mumbai, of four ordinary youngsters (Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang and Vir Das), who came together to start an import business of things longed for by yuppie Indians. What made their venture such a stupendous success was the fact that they found a way to beat the system and soon became the undisputed kings in their business, realizing their one dream of making quick money is by doing all the wrong things the right way.
Living the life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, the four friends discover that to make a business successful, you don't need big money. All you need is a big idea. All is well and hunky dory till one day the four maverick entrepreneurs are forced to shut shop.
The best thing about Badmaash Company is that you identify with the mindset of those who aspire to reach the pinnacle of success using shortcuts. The scams and the con games the youth indulge in are easy to decipher and least complicated, which works in its favour. Another strong point is the camaraderie that the four actors share on screen. The film would've fallen flat if the chemistry was missing, but the bonding looks so real that you forget that they are merely enacting those roles.
Badmaash Company has some terrific moments. The sequences in Bangkok are enjoyable. Ditto for the showdown between the friends in the post-interval hour. The transformation in Shahid's persona is also beautifully depicted. But, like I pointed out at the outset, the second hour tends to get repetitive and the penultimate 25-odd minutes are a strict no-no.
Pritam's music is foot-tapping and almost every song has been filmed very well. Sanjay Kapoor's cinematography is just right.
Every actor puts his best foot forward in Badmaash Company. Shahid gets it right yet again. It wouldn't be erroneous to say that this is amongst his finest works. Watch him blow his lid in the restaurant sequence and also in another sequence, when he meets a pregnant Anushka. He is confidence personified in those sequences.
Anushka is a revelation. She looks stunning, her performance is livewire and the chemistry with Shahid is electrifying. Strangely, she took a backseat after her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, but Badmaash Company will bring her back in public eye. Vir Das is another surprise. He's in terrific form here. The film marks the 'birth' of another talent - Meiyang Chang - who adds a lot of freshness and zing to his character. Anupam Kher is wonderful. Kiran Juneja makes her presence felt. Pawan Malhotra is extremely likeable.
On the whole, Badmaash Company is a watchable experience for various reasons, the prime reason being it offers solid entertainment, but doesn't insult your intelligence. Recommended!
Director - Parmeet Sethi
Cast - Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang, Vir Das