The movie review of ‘Bangistan’ Beneath the skullcaps and saffron kurtas we’re the same human beings. In one scene in this satire on religious zealotry, director Karan Anshuman hammers home this point by making the two protagonists — one Hindu, the other Muslim — strip. True to the opening maxim, the two look a lot similar after the stripping because they have…guess what…the underwear of the same colour and design hiding their modesty. ‘Bangistan’ has some such funny gems, but they are few and far between.
The movie is based on an interesting premise. Two young impressionable youths belonging to different religions in different regions of a fictitious, trigger-happy, bomb-prone country called Bangistan are brainwashed and sent on a terrorist mission to derail a religious conference aimed at forging peace between the Hindus and the Muslims.
To hoodwink the enemy, the Muslim terrorist, a simple call centre employee named Hafeez bin Ali (Riteish Deshmukh) assumes the identity of a Hindu named Ishwarchandra Sharma. And the Hindu terrorist, a Ram-Leela actor Praveen Chaturvedi (Pulkit Samrat) takes on the Muslim name of Allah Rakha Khan.
They head to Krakow in Poland on a suicide mission at the religious conference. They even put up on consecutive floors in the same apartment, and they even fall for the same girl Rosie (Jacqueline Fernandez), a bartender who makes the duo see life from a new perspective.
While the two bumbling terrorists are busy arranging the bomb and preparing for a suicide mission, they also introspect and have a change of heart. It remains to be seen if the story climaxes with ‘shanti’ or ‘kranti’.
In ‘Bangistan’, an interesting concept and plot is marred by pedestrian humour. Nitwit PJs about cinematic references like directors Wong Kar Wai, Roman Polanksi, and films ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Taxi Driver’ are needlessly stitched into the narrative. It’s very subjective humour which you suspect the trio of writers Puneet Krishn, Sumit Purohit and Karan Anshuman had side-splitting fun while penning, but doesn’t translate as remotely funny on screen.
‘Bangistan’ coasts along fine in the first half, but begins to sputter in the second half and leads to a climax which is a damp squib rather than explosive.
Performances are nothing to write home about, but Kumud Mishra is indeed interestingly cast in a double role, as both the radical Muslim militant with the dream of being the next bin Laden, and the extremist Hindu guru who exhorts his disciple for ‘balidaan’ (read suicide mission).
Riteish Deshmukh does give a few moments to cherish, but Pulkit Samrat is decidedly wooden.
In short, ‘Bangistan’ isn’t the explosive comedy it’s cracked up to be. It’s funny in parts, but mostly it’s a drag.
|Directed by||Karan Anshuman|
|Produced by||Ritesh Sidhwani
|Screenplay by||Puneet Krishna
Chandan Roy Sanyal
|Music by||Ram Sampath|