Verdict: Divyendu Sharma steals the show, along with Shahid Kapoor.
Set in the heartland of India, Batti Gul Meter Chalu is director Shree Narayan Singh‘s second attempt at a social drama and it does not disappoint. Starting off as a regular love story, Batti Gul Meter Chalu goes on to pick the pace as a drama that deals with inflated electricity bills. The movie manages to hold up a mirror to the corruption, politics and the sorry state of governance that exists in the smaller parts of the nation. Punctuated with desi lingo and fairly good performances, the highlight is that the movie has its heart in the right place. This strikes a chord and helps the film sail straight into our hearts.
What’s Batti Gul Meter Chalu About
The movie starts off with a story of three inseparable childhood friends – a penny-pinching lawyer Sushil Kumar Pant (Shahid Kapoor), a flamboyant fashion designer Lalita Nautiyal (Shraddha Kapoor) and a straight-as-an-arrow businessman Sundar Mohan Tripathi (Divyenndu Sharma). These three friends are the liveliest bunch of people in the city of Uttarakhand and also the life and soul of the city. The movie reaches its zero-hour when Lalita has to choose between Sushil and Sundar. To add to the turning point, Sundar’s dreams of running a successful factory are ruptured when he is slapped with an electricity bill worth INR 54 lakhs that drives him to attempt suicide. How this incident changes the ones he is close to and how Sundar’s this action goes on to drive a national movement of eradicating the irregularities related to electricity bills forms the rest of the story.
The year 2018 looks like the year of the second leads. Vicky Kaushal stole the show as one in Sanju, Abhishek Bachchan did it in Manmarziyaan and now Divyenndu Sharma joins the gang in Batti Gul Meter Chalu. Excellence is what is expected from Kapoor but throughout the movie, Divyenndu Sharma has managed to announce to the world that he has also finally arrived. Although termed as a social drama, the movie does not skimp on the much-required entertainment. You will find yourself amused when you least expect it and will also be caught unaware of how emotional the story makes you. Although the first half of the movie may seem amateur in places, the movie redeems itself with a stunning second half. This is where it tackles the promised issue head-on and manages to educate too. This only goes on to prove how much research the makers have put into making the film and it is truly impressive. Although the end of the film has no suspense, you’ll be hooked on to your chairs until the last minute. The oh-so-dramatic court battle between Sushil Kumar Pant and advocate Gulnaar (Yami Gautam) is the shining jewel in the film’s crown. The monologue that Shahid delivers at the climax deserves all hoots and whistles you can manage!
What Could’ve Been Better
At 2 hours and 55 minutes, the movie could have been trimmed to be crisper. Although the movie highlights the issues, the solution to this problem that plagues many parts of our country is not spoken about. This chews away a little authenticity from Batti Gul Meter Chalu, which would’ve made the film even more impressive.
What Should You Watch It
Watch the movie because it is not only relatable but it is a movie on a mission and such films are a rare make in Bollywood. Watch it for the skillful narration by two background characters with a purpose. Watch it to see how power loses and yet wins in the face of an adamant heart. Watch it for the friendships, the love, and above all, for your rights which should matter, irrespective of your city, state, country, religion or social status. Batti Gul Meter Chalu is a fight that helps a worrying cause find its spine and its heart both and if nothing else, watch the movie to experience this.