Wow, now where did this one come from?
In the times when there is a flurry of films arriving on the OTT medium due to theatre lockdown, Bahut Hua Sammaan has practically come unannounced. Now that’s a pity because few of the most unimpressive films that have released on various OTT platforms during last six odd months have seen at least sort of noise around them and here this gem of a film, and that too arriving on a major platform like Disney + Hotstar, hasn’t been in news at all.
The film has a clichéd, but entertaining scene right at the beginning with the two principle characters played by Raghav Juyal and Abhishek Chauhan been introduced. As final year mechanical engineers with ‘back papers’ to their name, they indulge in small town hustle to make ends meet. However, their world changes when their friendly ‘baba’ [Sanjay Mishra], who carries plan of ‘even toppling the government’ in his back pocket, suggests Plan A, Plan B as well as Plan C to loot a bank. The simpletons agree but then as expected, the heist goes wrong.
Going by the promo, even I thought that this would be one of those usual small budget thrillers with a core plot point surrounding a bank robbery and that’s about it. However, as the two hour film progressed, I realized that there were so many more layers that director Ashish R. Shukla had to offer. Elements around capiatlism, consumerism, Godmen, ‘akhand bharat’, jingoism in patriotism, ‘naaray lagao’ taking precedence over ‘asking the right question’ and mob lynching come at a rapid pace right through and that too without a stress on your brains.
Instead, everything progresses in a lighter vein with a spoof cum satire set up and good credit for that goes to Ashish who shows vast creativity in this outing (watch out for those comic insertions and 70s/80s style retro background score). Just a couple of months back he came up with 2020’s best web series Undekhi, a dramatic gritty thriller.
Now with Bahut Hua Sammaan, he delivers a vibrant comedy with some dose of action in there as well. He keeps the narrative cheerful, frames colorful and language even more colorful, something that does make the film adults only affair. However, unlike many other outings, here the unparliamentarily language brings in laughs instead of making you cringe.
What also works in favor of the film is the ensemble that takes forward the story, with each one of them having a real presence in the narrative. The one who impresses the most is Nidhi Singh, who is fast turning out to be a poster girl of the OTT. She is simply superb as a cop with a mechanical engineering background who prioritizes catching criminals over making out with her husband [Namit Das] in his kinky fantasies. Then there is Flora Saini, playing a dancer, and her two boyfriends, Singh Bhupesh and Sharat Sonu, who bring on ample laughs as well.
Surprisingly, Ram Kapoor disappoints with his deadpan assassin act. Playing an ex-commando working for the politicians, his narration of fables at the most tense of moments only emerge as turn-offs. Even Dibyendu Bhattacharya, who was an integral part of Undekhi, doesn’t add much in his short role as a Godman, who peddles several household products with an intent to create addicts. You don’t have to look closely though to see clear references of real life personalities who were once in news on a regular basis.
The ones who should be in news though with their natural act are youngsters Raghav Juyal and Abhishek Chauhan. Raghav is enjoying a double bill this season with his chilling act as a homophobic killer in Abhay 2 finding him quite some recognition. Well, he takes an about turn with a Banaras based college student here who weeks uncontrollably when given second degree torture. Abhishek surprises. He was good in Undekhi as a key character but seemed monotonous after a while. Here in Bahut Hua Sammaan, he demonstrates his comic timing quite well.
As for Sanjay Mishra then well, if ever you have wondered that whether it is only Bollywood superheroes who can wield two machine guns together then well, watch out for him. You would be pleasantly surprised.
By the look of it, Bahut Hua Sammaan could well see a sequel for itself. It better should!