- Movie Name:Baazaar
- Critics Rating: 3 / 5
- Release Date: October 26, 2018
- Director: Gauravv K Chawla
- Genre: Crime Drama
Baazaar, directed by Gauravv K Chawla, was initially thought to be a film especially made for those into the trading, share markets and finance. But the simplicity and the comprehensive way in which the functioning of this ‘Baazaar’ was depicted, anyone, including the novices of the stock market can grasp the film with utmost ease. As much as the trailer was complex, the film in itself was laid out in a layman manner. Starring SaifAli Khan, Radhika Apte and debutant Rohan Mehra, Baazaar is the Bollywood’s version of Wolf of Wall Street.
Starting with a lean, young man Rizwan Ahmed, standing at the ledge of the high-rise building, Baazaar goes immediately into flashback to how it all started. A small town man with his eyes full of dreams, comes to Mumbai with only one aim; to work under Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan). Kothari breathes money. All he cares about is profit and cannot bear loss of even a penny. Rizwan gets to work under Shakun, only to watch his life turn into a living nightmare. However, tables turn when Shakun Kothari’s once-disciple Rizwan turns against him and vouches to destroy him.
Baazaar starts with the cliché atrociously handsome and powerful man getting his hands on anything and everything he wants. He never loses and has never learnt anything but to win. On the contrast, Rizwan Ahmed has spent majority of his life with his middle-class salaried father who gets rewarded for his loyalty with only a Rs 2690 watch. Not wanting to spend his life in budget clothes and a small town house, Rizwan leaves the town with gargantuan dreams in his eyes. We’ve seen so many Bollywood movies around similar premise of a middle-class man trying to do something big. Overnight, his life changes and everything drifts so easily; taking the film far, far away from the cruel ways of real life.
The first half of the film was full of such clichés and one-liners. “Marathon me daudne walo ko duniya yaad nahi rakhti”. And so Shakun Kothari, an over-ambitious businessman, wants to double, triple and quadruple his money in whatever way he can. He is so much like the most of the businessmen in India or any other part of the world. They pray money, breath money and their life revolves around money.
The character of Shakun Kothari is not very impressive or different but the way Saif Ali Khan has brought it to the life is laudable, to say the least. His Gujarati accent is bearable, if not on point. The poker face he has maintained throughout the film, giving zero hints about the evil plans he was hatching in his mind, deserves the brownie points. Saif Ali Khan has always been near-perfect in bringing a character to life on a celluloid. After Kaalakandi and Sacred Games, he has come out as a true artist in Baazaar.
Rohan Mehra, who has stepped into Bollywood with this film, seemed adorable and up to the standards for his role. He was nowhere less than Saif Ali Khan and the best part was, both the actors complemented each other very well in Baazaar. Going by his performance in the film, Rohan Mehra is here to stay.
Radhika Apte’s grey shade character was one of the highlights of the film. She is brutal yet loving. Not that it’s the first time Ms Apte has blown us away with her acting finesse, Baazaar is yet another feather in her cap. Give her a role and she knows how to turn it into gold.
What didn’t work for Baazaar?
The major shortcoming of Baazaar was its extremely stretched first half, which almost had the audience dozing off. The first half was dedicated majorly to building the story around Shakun Kothari and how he became the most-hated yet most powerful man of the trade. The other half of the first half took us to the flashback where Rizwan Ahmed starts his journey in Mumbai as a stock trader.
Second half, however, compensated for the sluggish pre-interval period. It picked up pace only to tail off reaching its end. The climax seemed dragged and predictable. It was like a cakewalk for a novice to destroy a powerful man who took decades to build his empire; how veritable does it look?
Another drawback and the biggest one is the songs. They were stuffed and just had us cringing, waiting for them to end. There were too many songs breaking the rhythms of the otherwise interesting film. As if the faulty first half wasn’t enough, the songs repelled our eyes from the screens for almost the 20 minutes of the film.
Baazaar is a must watch for Saif Ali Khan lovers. We believe there are many ever since his Sartaj Singh stint in Sacred Games. Although, he was always a great actor. It’s just that it took us too long to see what he’s capable of. Rohan Mehra is a surprise package. He is the star kid you will welcome in the industry with a warm hug, without uttering the ‘N’ word.