With a lineup of a stellar cast and crew and critically-acclaimed precedents like Dasvidaniya (2008) and Chalo Dilli (2011), Shashant Shah’s third venture, Bajatey Raho has set high expectations. A light-hearted comic social satire on corruption, the movie unfortunately failed miserably. So did the dream of the director to score a hat-trick in tinsel town.
Based in ‘Dilli’ Dilwalo Ki, the movie narrates the story of Mrs. Baweja a.k.a. Mummyji (Dolly Ahluwalia), her cablewala son Sukhi Baweja (Tusshar Kapoor), jugaadu Ballu (Ranvir Shorey), caterer and close family friend Mintoo (Vinay Pathak) and adorable young Kabootar (Hussan Saad). Next door neighbor Manpreet (Vishakha Singh) is their partner in crime and Sukhi’s love interest. And their sole motto is to revive their lost reputation and bring justice to late Mr. Ravinder Baweja and Saira (Mintoo’s wife) who were conned by Mohan Sabharwal (Ravi Kissen), a deceitful businessman to get the people to invest in a dubious bank scheme, which helped him gather 15 crores. The motley gang is on a mission to clean up the mess and to do the right thing but in a wrong way. As the saying goes, jab ghee sidhi ungli se na nikle, to ungli tedhi karni padti hai.
Tagged as a comedy film, Bajatey Raho fails to give you any fits of laughter. The film instead had more of an emotional thread attached hence making one feel like watching a sluggish version of Dibakar Banerjee’s rather engaging and entertaining Khosla Ka Ghosla. The script genuinely lacks a free-flow to the brisk shifts between humor and melodrama. More of melodrama! Though the movie starts with a great promise with the innovative opening credit montages, the joyride comes to an end and the movie is rather bland.
The so-called "rib-tickling" movie could have harnessed more from the renowned actors as the characters were life-like but not entertaining at all. Dolly Ahluwalia has once again stolen the show as an enterprising mother after her fantastic performance in Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor. Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey were wonderful as always but had very less screen time in this movie. Tusshar Kapoor’s performance was laid-back as he strains to get his Punjabi right in some scenes while stares blankly through others. Fukrey-famed Vishakha Singh is absolutely gorgeous as a bubbly Dilliwali kudi. Child artist Hussan Saad’s act calls for an applause as the young Kabootar. Bhojpuri superstar, Ravi Kishen has given a decent performance.
Though the script lacks sincerity and soul, saddi Dilli was captured well through the lens of the camera. The sound department did a praise-worthy work with the sound effects and background sounds. The editing is upto the mark as the movie is kept short at 2 hours run-time saving the audiences much boredom. Though the songs of the movie can be easily missed as none of them are brilliant, item number ‘Naagin Naagin’ saw new debutants, Maryam Zakaria and Scarlett Wilson trying to sizzle onscreen but failed to impress. ‘O Meri Mata’ is surely a parody worth appreciating.