Bangistan

Thursday, August 6, 2015
Karan Anshuman's Bangistan which probably crackled on paper, is by far 2015's most shoddily executed film. If you thought Roy was bad after all the hype around and Bombay Velvet a disaster, this film leaves by a sinking feeling which is almost heartbreaking. There is too much talent wasted in this movie. Can you imagine an un-funny Riteish Deshmukh? Yes, it is almost blasphemous that Pulkit is meant to be the funny one in this film. And Pulkit is a loud clone of Salman Khan, minus the swag and charm. If anyone thought Salman's mannerisms made him who he is, unfortunately it is the other way around. His mannerisms work because of his screen presence. You wish Pulkit had any of it - the charm or the swag, but he doesn't. He is flat, gimmicky and noisy.
Coming from the Excel stable, the films have a certain spunk to them. Barring a scene or two, this film hardly has no such defining factor. Even a Fukrey had its peaks but Bangistan is never more a bad dish of buffoonery and gyaan. It is almost shameful that a man who has made a living out of slapping scathing remarks on filmmakers for years, goes so wrong on a movie he has made. Evidently, tearing apart a film is a far easier job than making a coherent one. Point noted for personal reference as well.

The fictional country of Bangistan is divided into two stark regions, separated by religion. Like in real life, they have their own woes and chores. So when the religious leaders decide on blurring their differences, extremists from both regions of the country decide on sending their suicide bombers to disrupt the World Peace Convention they will be attending. The two switch identities and religions and land up for the event with the same agenda.
Yes, it sounds like a fun premise. It indeed is. But Anshuman concept is devoid of smarts. He has misjudged the capability of his actors. Jacqueline Fernandez's ingratuitous role was hardly a requirement in the plot. The best thing about the film is that one standout scene where its lead characters debate about each other's religions only to realize that they more or less convey the same message. Riteish, who does his best to rise above the plot, has a fabulous TVC spoof to his credit but hardly anything more. He seems constricted in every frame, bubbling with energy but pulled down by plot.
The best thing about the film is that it is short, just about 2 hours. Your turmoil ends soon if you decide to embark on it. There is a repeat telecast of PK's preachy gyaan about religion and humanity, sans its lovable quality. There is AIB humour, sans the wit. At so many places, the film takes sheer mindlessness to just another level. You might sit up and notice a Darth Vader loitering in a religious conference, and wait for more of such intelligent pop culture references with ears perked up. Alas, it is nill in number.
The biggest pitfall of the movie is Riteish's character who feels so strongly about Muslims being stereotyped by the society that he turns into a suicide bomber. It is extremely bizarre. This film is a plain victim of bad direction and avoids everything (read Riteish) that could've saved him. This film is a victim of shabby direction. If Karan needs a lesson in films of this genre he must grab a copy of Four Lions which was pertinent and entertaining. Bangistan is low on bangs, fun and everything it promised it will entail.
We give the film a 40% on our Movie Meter. Sheer disappointment!

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