Name: Bachchhan Paandey
Director: Farhad Samji
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon, Jacqueline Fernandez, Arshad Warsi
Rating: 3 / 5
What I like the most about cinema is its unpredictability. Which is why there are some films that you go to watch with zero expectations, but then come out of the theatre completely surprised. Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon, Jacqueline Fernandez and Arshad Warsi starrer Bachchhan Paandey did just that for me. Kumar plays the titular role in this Farhad Samji directorial, and the character becomes a subject of interest for Kriti Sanon’s Myra Devekar, who aspires to make a film on the crime lord’s life.
She along with her aspiring actor friend Vishu (played by Warsi) reach Baghwa to convince Bachchhan Paandey, unknown to the fact that deadly challenges await the duo in the dangerous land. Of course, all of it has been portrayed in an entertaining way. What starts as a cat and mouse chase between the artist and her muse, soon becomes a tug of war between love and hatred, fear and kindness. While the filmmaker attempts this transition it doesn’t lose control on the overall entertainment. However, some of the jokes do fall flat, and a few even seem dated. Some work could have been done on that.
Bachchhan Paandey is an action-comedy, and one would expect to see a lot more action in the film. But the sequences that are there, are brilliantly choreographed by Anl Arasu, staying true to Pandey’s brutal persona. They are not unique, but interestingly picturised for sure. Background music by Julius Packiam adds character to the narrative, while editing by Charu Shree Roy is sharp and to the point.
Usually these genres tend to vary between the first half and the second half in terms of entertainment, mostly compromising it along the way. But Bachchhan Paandey overall manages to hold onto that and large credit for it should go to the screenplay penned by Sajid Nadiadwala, while Farhad Samji manages to bring those scenes to life on the big screen with his direction. Yes, the film does have the old theme of ‘love can make and destroy an individual’, but what makes Bachchhan Paandey’s journey different is his quirks and characteristics. Though you don’t really end up falling in love with the character, as nothing really justifies his past wrongdoings.
As for the performances, Akshay Kumar is brilliant and stands out. He seems to have had a blast playing the character, and it comes across. Kriti Sanon too has lived up well to her part, not going overboard with emotions at any point. She has truly come a long way as an actor. Jacqueline Fernandez gives a decent performance in her limited screen time, while Arshad Warsi shines in every scene. Though I wish more layers were added to his part. An attempt was made too, but it seemed half baked. Pankaj Tripathi as acting coach Bhavesh Bhopla has an eventful entry, and an entertaining exit too. There may be hardly anything that Tripathi can’t really pull off onscreen. The rest of the supporting cast including, Sanjay Mishra, Abhimanyu Singh, Saharsh Kumar Shukla, and Prateik Babbar live up to their parts.
Interestingly, Bachchhan Paandey in its own way pays a tribute to the other anti heroes of Bollywood, as well as celebrates the madness of cinema. Yes, from a genre point of view the film had a scope of improvement, but it also has its heart in the right place.