Cast: Tusshar Kapoor,Ranvir Shorey,Vinay Pathak,Vishakha Singh,Dolly Ahluwalia,Ravi Kissen
Director: Shashant A Shah
The Indian Express ratings: *1/2
A crooked businessman swindles people of their hard-earned money,and the fall guy is an honest bank official. Bajatey Raho is about how a bunch of unlikely avengers get into the act,and put things to rights. Theres some spark in the idea because who doesnt like a baddie to get his comeuppance? And there are some good actors here. But the film turns out to be clichéd and largely choppy: an idea by itself is never enough,its what you do with it that counts.
Poor Mrs Baweja (Ahluwalia) is left holding the baby after the hapless Bawejaji passes on. Along with betaji (Kapoor),and well-wishers (Pathak,Shorey and Singh),they hatch a series of plans to best the beastly Sabharwal (Kissen).Because it is a set-in-Delhi film,the characters are flagrantly Punjabi. So we are drowned in exaggerated accents,and DDA ‘clonies,and mata ka jaagrans,and farmhouse shaadis. Which would be just fine if the cast was used to lift the story,but that doesnt happen.
Ahluwalia is a natural,as she was in Vicky Donor,and Pathak and Shorey have earned enough cred as street-smart Punjus. But they end up being all too-familiar and ill-used because they are made to share space with miscast actors. Tusshar is earnest but impact-less; and Kishan is offkey as the Punjabi-speaking papa of a faceless creature,whose only role is to be used as barter between him (Kissen) and a greedy father-son duo.
Pulling off a con like this needs style. Shahs first film Dasvidaniya was full of it. His second Chalo Dilli floundered. This one had the potential to be a smart caper. In several places,you feel the stirrings of a nice scene or sequence,and then bam,it gets lopped off abruptly,and goes on to yet another slow build-up.
The best line in the film belongs to Shorey. And the best song to Pathak. These guys,and that Ahluwalia gal,need to be in a better film.