Bangistan: Film Review – A conventional laugh-riot

A political satire set in a fictional country is common, and Bangistan does not dwell on this. The film settles in quickly after the initial introduction to the basic plot. Bangistan features two simpleton-turned-terrorists- Hafeez Bin Ali (Riteish Deshmukh) and Praveen Chaturvedi (Pulkit Samrat) – who willing to die for a cause, never question their ‘Miyan’ or ‘Guruji’.

Ali is a call-center employee whose workstation funnily is in a cave, while Chaturvedi is an aspiring actor who blindly believes every word of his revered ‘Guruji’. Ali and Chaturvedi are instructed to go to Poland, and bomb the World Religious Conference in Krakow. Assuming fake identities, the duo try to outsmart each other throughout the movie, as they continue to bump into each other, staying only a floor apart and even partying together. Jacqueline Fernandez appears in a cameo too.

Much like other movies dealing with similar subjects, whether comic or otherwise, Bangistan focuses on the communal divide and beyond. Director Karan Anshuman, a former film critic himself, focuses on cultural stereotypes in the film.  Never taking a serious tone, Bangistan subtly delivers its message through humour.

Riteish Deshmukh, after recent successes with Lai Bhaari and Ek Villain, delivers again. Pulkit Samrat is the surprise package. Over the top and pompous throughout the 2 hours 15 minutes run-time, Samrat complements Deshmukh, never settling for anything but the spotlight. With majority of the movie shot in Krakow, the shots are exquisite and even add to the pace of the story. And while the unraveling of the plot might seem predictable, the commendable performances of the lead actors make it a good watch. The songs too are quite hummable.

Why should you watch this film?
Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat are an unlikely duo, but combined with a good screenplay, they pull off the task at hand well. Bangistan is a healthy dose of laughter for the weekend, clever in its own weird ways.

By Shlomoh Samuel

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