Somewhere inside Banjo is a sweet, spirited film about a band of slumdog musicians.  You can see it in the innovative way in which director Ravi Jadhav sets up the band members.  There’s Paper.  He’s called that because he delivers newspapers but he also spends several hours of his day fetching water for his family.  So Paper’s grandest dream is a water tanker parked outside his shanty.  Grease, spends all day, covered in car oil and dirt – he fantasizes about a white home, white clothes and even a white watch.  And then there’s Baaja, who only wants to get on an airplane so he can push a button and have an airhostess ask, how can I help you.   These guys put a smile on your face.  I was hooked instantly.

But Jhadav’s unique voice gets flattened out quickly.  The culprits are a convoluted, over-stuffed storyline, excessive visual razzmatazz and an uneven soundtrack. Jhadav is a celebrated, National-award winning Marathi film director.  He’s making his Hindi film debut here but much is lost in translation.  The flashes of freshness are drowned by the illogical melodrama.  After all, how seriously can you take any film in which a permanently pouty Nargis Fakhri roams around Mumbai slums in tiny shorts looking for a Banjo band?  Her character Chris is a New Yorker who comes to Mumbai without any leads – she doesn't have a name or even a photograph.   But she’s mesmerized by the music.

Banjo isn’t just about Chris’s search.  Jhadav also wants to comment on class wars, what makes a true artist, the transformative power of music and of India. These people might lead hardscrabble lives but they have big hearts. There is a sub-plot about a rival banjo band, land grabbing and even an attempted murder.   And at the center of it all is Tarrat, played by Riteish Deshmukh.  Tarrat means bewda or drunkard.  Tarrat is described as Banjo ki duniya ka Bachchan.  He’s a gritty, banjo-playing goon-musician.  Tarrat feels like he has stepped out a1980s film.  The film labors to showcase him as a rockstar with slow motion entries and one-liners.  All the attempts at creating a credible romance between him and Chris are sabotaged by Nargis’s absolute lack of expression.  She’s both beautiful and unintentionally comical.

So Ritesh valiantly struggles to hold it together. I enjoyed the small moments like Tarrat describing a coughing old man as hamara cough parade.  I also enjoyed Vishal-Shekhar’s energetic Bappa song and the band members, played by Aditya Kumar, Dharmesh Yelande and Ram Menon.

But mostly Banjo is an over-cooked mess.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Anupama Chopra

  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Raid

    Director: Raj Kumar Gupta Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saurabh Shukla, Amit Sial, Ileana D’Cruz Review by: Anupama Chopra Raid comes at the right...

    Anupama ChopraMarch 16, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Lady Bird

    Director: Greta Gerwig Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Lois Smith, Timothée Chalamet Review By: Anupama Chopra Within...

    Anupama ChopraMarch 2, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Pari

    Director: Prosit Roy Cast: Anushka Sharma, Parambrata Chatterjee, Rajat Kapoor Pari is an odd film. It’s horror, romance, emotional drama and...

    Anupama ChopraMarch 2, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety

    Director: Luv Ranjan Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Singh, Nushrat Bharucha, Alok Nath, Virendra Saxena, Ishita Raj Review by: Anupama Chopra In one...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 23, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Welcome to New York

    Director: Chakri Toleti Cast: Karan Johar, Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Riteish Deshmukh, Rana Daggubati Review by: Anupama Chopra There is a scene...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 23, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of The Shape of Water

    Director: Guillermo del Toro Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Jenkins Review by: Anupama Chopra The Shape of...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 17, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Black Panther

    Director: Ryan Coogler Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Letitia...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 17, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Aiyaary

    Director: Neeraj Pandey Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Sidharth Malhotra, Pooja Chopra, Kumud Mishra, Adil Hussain, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Rakul Preet Singh Review by:...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 17, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Pad Man

    Director: R. Balki Cast: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte, Sonam Kapoor Review by: Anupama Chopra I never imagined I would see a Hindi film...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 9, 2018

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2018 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup