Verdict: A film that shows what freedom truly means.
India may have become independent in 1947, but are we truly free? Qaidi Band explores this thought. Prisoners under trial are neither here nor there, as they live in jail for more years than they would if convicted. As stated by a character in the film, they are not even given a proper jail uniform and parole is out of the question. Sanju (Aadar Jain), Bindu (Anya Singh), Tatyana (Anna Ador), Maskeen (Prince Parvinder Singh), Rufi (Mikhail Yawalkar), Ogu (Peter Muxka Manuel) and Cyndy Khojol (Sange) are under trial with very little hope of getting out of prison. Bindu awaits her 'peshi' thinking she’ll be granted bail, but to her disappointment, her freedom comes at a cost – INR 5 lakhs. She decides to take part in the prison’s anniversary show, only to get the 'good conduct' stamp on her case file. The rest of the characters join the band too and soon they begin to make meaningful music. After a rocking performance, the band becomes an overnight success and a politician decides to use them to his benefit. The court hearings are canceled and they are ordered to write more songs. The reason they are stuck in prison also becomes their only way to freedom.
Qaidi Band is backed by YRF, which is known to launch new talent. In this film, we get to see two newcomers – Aadar Jain and Anya Singh – on screen. The duo shares a unique bond but since this story isn’t set in a romantic city, you do not get to see the love blooming. Singh, with no film background, is terrific and steals the show. She doesn't wear makeup and sports the de-glam look throughout the film. This is a great change from regular movies, as it would be odd seeing prisoners with perfect hair and nails. Jain belongs to the Kapoor khandaan and the expectations from him are huge. He delivers a convincing performance that would make his family proud. Even the rest of the cast that has been picked by Shanoo Sharma add value to the film. It would be wonderful to see these unknown faces in the future too.
If a film is titled Qaidi Band, it is obvious that music will play an important role. I Am India, which becomes the band’s anthem, is played almost thrice. The score by Amit Tridevi is unlike his previous works and is a refreshing change. With Qaidi Band, director Habib Faisal ventures into an unfamiliar zone. Do Dooni Chaar may still be his best work but QB is much better than his last film, Daawat-e-Ishq.
Why You Should Watch The Movie:
At 1 hour 59 minutes, Qaidi Band isn’t a moralistic film. It exposes the Indian judicial system, but the music and romance make it a commercial entertainer. Watch it at theatres this weekend – it will be time well-spent.