Planet Bollywood
Badmaash Company
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Director: Parmeet Sethi
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang, Vir Das
Music: Pritam
Lyrics: Anvita Dutt
Genre: Thriller
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 07 May 2010
Reviewed by: Ankit Ojha  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.12 / 10 (rated by 411 viewers)
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I never could formulate the overall expectations potential viewers could ever have for Badmaa$h Company. The trailers were decent but the music was unimpressive and the promotion was nothing extraordinary to talk about. And yet, this film still turns out to be an opportunity for various reasons and for specific people:

– for actor-turned-director Parmeet Sethi, who has also written the script in six days flat (?) to make a mark in his newfound interest;

– for Yash Raj, after the recurring box-office debacles of Dil Bole Hadippa! , Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year and more recently Pyaar Impossible;

– for one-film-old Anushka Sharma who’s trying something different from her first movie (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, also with the Yash Raj banner) where she played a simple and sweet Punjabi girl, as compared to now – a sizzling aspiring model;

– for Shahid Kapoor, for whom ever since Kaminey it’s been raining flops and last but not the least for Vir Das who after the almost unknown debut as lead in the Vikram Bhatt produced Mumbai Salsa, never managed to make it big, except for a few small roles in movies like the more recent Love Aaj Kal.

So, does the movie succeed in fulfilling the audience’s expectations (if any)? Does Shahid finally get to deliver? Does Parmeet strike gold? Does Anushka impress? Read on to know more.

Badmaash Company is a story of four friends – Karan Kapoor (Shahid Kapoor), Zing (Meiyang Chang), Chandu (Vir Das) and Bulbul Singh (Anushka Sharma) who end up doing a few odd jobs to fulfill their short-term goals. Karan gets an idea that strikes gold – he, along with his friends, ends up doing all the wrong things in a very cautious, well-planned structure, and their ‘business’ – Friends & Co. – becomes an instant hit. Unfortunately the sole thing that brought them together is now tearing them and their lives apart – the insatiable lust for money.

And we know that there are so many movies that have the same underlying theme so why watch this? It’s for one simple reason – a strong script with a very strong execution by the writer. Kudos to Sethi who makes things believable and relatable! You have this varied assortment of characters – simple and sweet Karan with a sharp brain and wit; bold and brash but good-at-heart Bulbul Singh who wants to be a model; alcoholic Zing who wants to drink all day with no other ambition in life; and a horny Chandu, who just wants to bird-watch. And the plus point of having these characters is the detail that goes into their development, which will gel well with a lot of viewers. Parmeet Sethi’s script doesn’t even look like it’s finished in six days due to the extreme detailing in quite a few scenes that look like it’s been really well-visualized in it’s pre-production stages. Brownie points for them.

And it’s not just the script and screenplay that Sethi is efficient in – it’s the dialogues too! Penned by himself, they are witty and crack you up whenever they’re meant to. At times you do notice that the dialogues tilt towards becoming redundant and predictable, but those are few and far between. The most memorable scene in the movie is when Vir Das ends up looking at Anushka Sharma’s assets instead of her face while conversing to her and her immediate reaction is by covering them with a blanket and replying point-blank, “Nahin, yeh baat nahin karte!” which is hilarious! You’ll find many more of those cheeky intelligent one-liners in the movie.

Moving on towards the technical aspects, we have excellent and smooth camerawork and some really awesome cinematography by Sanjay Kapoor. What complements these aspects is the watertight editing by Ritesh Soni, which gives the movie a slick style, what with match cuts (a split screen showing an action from two different angles) and multiple screens acting as ellipses of a completely different kind. Color correction where it’s needed gives the film the gloss it requires.

Sync sound has been really well handled by sound engineers Dwarak Warrier and Debashish Mishra. As I stated in my music review of the film, the songs composed by Pritam don’t really leave any impact audibly, but when played along with snazzy visuals and excellent editing and color-correction, you find yourself humming to the tunes. This is what happens to situational songs, if placed rightly and written well into the plot. The most well-executed songs of the lot have to be Ayaashi, Chaska and the title track which appears right at the end credits. Jingle Jingle is fun to see but doesn’t really hold onto your mind as you leave the cinema halls. Fakira is decently shot and fits in really well with the situation.

Before I review the performance of each pivotal character, I’d like to say that each actor in this movie has delivered power-packed performances, which become a huge trump card for the movie. Shahid Kapoor hits the nail on the head yet again. Watch out for his discovery of a pregnant Anushka, and his confrontation with her on her discovery of his green card secret. Other scenes where he’s done really well have to be the ones with Anupam Kher – emotionally powerful ones. Anushka is yet another revelation. Rather than going into safe mode by being stereotyped as the simple girl, she’s gone ahead and done something tangentially different than her debut performance in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi almost two years ago. Her bold and casual act takes you by surprise and impresses one and all- she is confidence personified.

Vir Das is really good. He will go places if he makes the right choices. Same with Indian Idol 3 finalist Meiyang Chang who has given a spellbinding performance. Anupam Kher is as usual, very good at what he does, and his scenes with Shahid are at the top of your must-watch list. The scene of his receipt of 25 years of distinguished service may be a bit clichéd but is surely watchable for his emotions. Kiran Juneja Sippy hardly has any meaty dialogues but enacts whatever she gets with poise. Pawan Malhotra is really cool in his comic scenes. Watch out for when he calls the receptionist ‘Soojan’ who later, annoyed for having pronounced her name wrong, tells him it’s ‘Susan’ and not ‘Soojan’!

Despite having a truckload of positives the movie has some negatives as well, some of which have already been stated above. The biggest negative has to be it’s uneven pace, which would be fine if the movie was on the lines of Rocket Singh. Unfortunately, for a movie being promoted as a crime caper with conmen you expect this to be fast-paced but there are gradual unfolding of scenes and some slight overindulgence of Parmeet Sethi in his writing – too much fine detail provided when it could have been overlooked. Probably Shahid Kapoor’s narration wasn’t required either as voice-overs sometimes spoil the impact of the movie but at least it’s been intelligently placed to fit into the movie.

Despite the dragging pace the movie ends up providing us with ample doses of entertainment value, what with a really well-written script, supported by excellent performances by the cast and rock-solid production values by the makers of the film! And the best part about the movie is despite carrying the tag of the ‘fun, fresh film that wants to entertain us’, the movie never ends up insulting your intelligence, something Parmeet Sethi should be applauded of. This one’s a must-watch, and a must-support too.

And finally, just like I do for all debutant directors, I, on behalf of the whole PlanetBollywood team, would like to welcome Parmeet Sethi to his newfound profession in Bollywood, and wish that him all the success!

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