Banjo review: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri film has no redeeming features

Banjo movie review: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri's film tries your patience and sanity. Full of shouty dialogues and expected situations, even most of the songs fail to live up to its theme.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: September 23, 2016 8:54 pm
Banjo movie review, Banjo review, Banjo movie, Banjo, Riteish Deshmukh Banjo review: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri film has every cliche in the book — slum tourism, obvious dialogues and terrible acting.

Banjo movie cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri
Banjo movie director: Ravi Jadhav

I had hopes from Banjo because of a couple of things: director Ravi Jadhav has done a bunch of good Marathi films (Natarang is terrific; Balak Palak places an important conversation at the heart of a ‘children’s’ film; Balgandharva has great music), and lead actor Riteish Deshmukh is light on his feet, even in the  broadest comedies he almost always seems to be seen in.

But Banjo has practically no redeeming features. It is about a NRI musician’s (Nargis Fakhri) search for an original sound which leads her to the banjo artist Tarraat (Riteish Deshmukh) and his ragtag band, and what happens next.

Because underdogs have to win, we know how things will pan out. But the painful progression to that climactic point is filled with uniformly terrible acting, clichéd situations and shouty, obvious dialogue.

Fakhri’s actorly limitations are obvious even in the song-and-dance sequences. And her choice of attire for the slum tourism the film ties to pass offas truism is very short shorts-and-singlets: every single male character she passes or sits alongside, has got his eyeballs hanging out. If that’s not cringe-making, I don’t know what is. The gawking males with wandering eyes includes Deshmukh’s leading man, who calls her ‘madam’, and promptly and predictably falls for her.

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The only time the film stops trying your patience somewhat is when it bursts into song, and even there, it has only one which is foot-tapping.

Watch | Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri-starrer Banjo trailer here

Really, you expect better from Deshmukh, whose artfully dusty, tangled tresses and toned, worked-out frame don’t match up to the required grunginess of his character description. And from Jadhav, who has done so much better in his previous outings.

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