Starcast: Saif Ali Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Jimm Sheirgill, Vidyut Jamwal, Raj Babbar, Gulshan Grover, Mahie Gill
Direction Tigmanshu Dhulia
Run Time :2 Hrs 18 Minutes
In the era where commercial cinema is the spice of the season, and where majority of cine sorcerers are fetching maximum goodies at the power of this mantra. It is quite obvious for someone, who otherwise owns a marvelous cine sense to develop a fascination for this desirable dessert and to sacrifice his actual potential in order to join the league.
And as they say for surviving in a league you need to follow the the norms established by the league. So probably this would have been the reason which compelled the director of Dhulia’s stature to try his hands on commercial form of movie making. After charming the audience with some of the critically acclaimed cine flicks, which left the masses in aw with their brilliance, this time Dhulia stepped in to the aisle which actually is not his cup of tea.
But as the thumb rule says “fascination seldom shares a berth with prudence”, so even this ace cinematographer belonging to elite league of movie makers could not prevent himself falling prey to it and decided to test his cine dexterity in the commercial form of cinema with Saif, Sonakshi, Jimmy and Vidyut starrer “Bullet Raja”. Due to prevailing notions and admiration about Tigmanshu’s signature style of movie making, at opening even “Bullet Raja” secured a decent foot fall and opened with an approximate occupancy of 45 percent at the multiplexes.
Premise of “Bullet Raja” primarily narrates the story of two commoners, Raj Mishra (Saif Ali Khan) and Rudra Tripati (Jimmy Sheirgill), who have a rendezvous at a wedding and how circumstances transform them into circumstantial strongman or rather dons, who are courageous enough and give a damn to societal norms.
And subsequently what follows is forming of a a formidable team under the patronage of a local minister Ram Babu Shukla (Raj Babbar). With frames rolling ahead they emerge as one of the most fearsome duo of the region who in a fit of mild vengeance kidnap a business magnate, Bajaj (Gulshan Grover) and during this stint of their’s also saves a budding starlet Mitaali (Sonakshi), with whom Raja falls in love subsequently. With vengeance breeding in his head Bajaj decides to avenge his insult and teams up with Sumer Yadav (Ravi kissen) for the purpose. So to know what follows next watch “Bullet Raja”.
After viewing some of the path breaking delights which always possessed a captivating plot underneath them, this time many of Dhulia’s admirers (even I am one of them) may get surprised to see the quality of script which this ace cine literati has picked to knit his first core commercial cine delight. And you will be surprised because after seeing those sheer visual delights it is hard to believe that someone belonging to Dhulia’s stature can also embrace a disastrous worn out script while trying his hand on relatively new genre. But unfortunately Tigmanshu did so, and opted for a flimsy story idea which uptill great extent seems to be rotten and directionless.
As soon as the narration of “Bullet Raja” takes off with so much of monotony and lack of expressiveness it starts giving you “I have seen this before” pangs. Although in the second half the plot of “Bullet Raja” transforms into a somewhat gripping saga, but if we talk about the first half then it looks totally confused and lacking captivating potency.
Even persona of characters seems to be so ill-defined that none of the characters could leave any impressive impact on the viewers. In fact about “Bullet Raja” it won’t be wrong to say that major duration of run-time seems to be so perplexed that throughout your stay in the auditorium you keep on scratching your head in bewilderment that what exactly onscreen proceedings want to communicate to you.
On the other hand if try to gauge the script of Bullet Raja on the novelty front then, despite himself being an exceptional author Tigmanshu along with Amaresh Misra has completely failed in developing a refreshing out of the box and engaging tale.
From the very first frame it’s just violence and and action blended with some of the unwanted songs which takes the front seat and up-till some extent compels you to wipe your expectations that you usually foster about Tigmanshu’s movies. But yeah in writing department one thing which up-till some extent succeeds in saving the grace of “Bullet Raja” is dialogues dabbled in the native lingo of “Purvanchal” region dialogues look impressive in parts and to some extent authenticate the onscreen proceedings.
Even if talk about the screenplay that even that looks nothing more then a half baked cookie,which seems to be too hard to swallow on all the fronts. Be it the emotional efficacy, warmth of romance or even the potency of humor everything looks so brittle that you remain emotionally unperturbed through the viewing duration.
In fact it won’t be wrong to say that through out the run time of the movie you keep on searching for a single moment of honest effort which remain elusive from commencement till culmination, but for that it will be wrong to point out the shortcoming of performers, instead it’s the ambiguity prevailing in the script and its execution which takes its toll.
If we go by other significant aspects pertaining to execution of “Bullet Raja” then it’s the shabby editing which further pushes the movie into the quagmire of under performance. While watching Bullet Raja many of you may even feel astonished to see that how come a cinematographer of Rahul Shrivastav’s caliber can leave some of the unwanted parts unattended and that too after sacrificing some of the relevant ones.
Coming to the music department then thoroughly contrary to the rustic theme of “Bullet Raja”, music of the movie is somewhat peppy with RDB’s special number “Tamanche Pe Disco” being pick of the deck. Background score of Sajid Wajid is strictly satisfactory but could have added much more to the narration, had it been better.
Before analyzing the performance of the protagonists it is pertinent to mention here that actually it’s ambiguity prevailing in the role description which takes its toll and keeps the performers within the incarceration of under-performance.
Anyhow, despite the association of suave persona with him Saif tries his level best to slip under the character of small town strongman, but at the same time fails in exhibiting the emotional expressiveness which was required out of his character. Although Jimmy had been in a side role but inspite of that the man has conveniently succeeded in delivering what is expected out of him. But the thing which thoroughly magnifies the performance spectrum of, Jimmy and Saif is their splendid onscreen camaraderie.
Despite having nothing much in her performance kitty, Sonakshi as tSaif’s ladylove is just OK and has delivered nothing different from her past performances. Ravi Kissen seems to be emerging as more seasoned performer with every successive Bollywood stint. Vidyut enters the big screen only after the half time, but even in that stipulated duration of time has performed with perfection. As usual veteran actors Raj Babbar and Gulshan have been at their performing best.
Although Bullet Raja had been the first commercial outing for Tigmanshu, but the ace director has tried his level best to emerge as the titan of this arena too. Probably with “Bullet Raja” Tigmanshu may not succeed in raising the bar this time, but at the same time it will be partial to overlook his prevailing legacy which may succeed in pulling the the masses to the cineplexes to make “Bullet Raja” an above average BO grosser.
For all those die hard Tigmanshu Dhulia movie fans “Bullet Raja” may emerge as a disappointing experience because of the lack of entertainment coefficient. And after seeing “Bullet Raja” some of you may even start apprehending that what compelled Dhulia to pick up such a clumsy premise to knit a devastating saga which has nothing impressive and is thoroughly below his level of his movie making. But after entertaining us with cine flicks like Paan Singh Tomar, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster etc this ace cine sorcerer deserves to be given a chance to return to his signature style of movie making.
To sum up, this first commercial venture of Tigmanshu is neither innovative nor captivating, so even if you avoid having a tryst with “Bullet Raja”, you won’t regret missing this Tigmanshu Dhulia creation. Or if put it in other words then avoid “Bullet Raja” if you really want to keep your fascination for Tigmanshu Dhulia’s movies alive.