Baadshaho Review – A Loud, Utterly Pointless Mess

Badshaho is the migraine that just keeps on giving.

Among the greatest achievements of this terrible, no-shits-given affair is just how little it has you caring about anything or anyone in the movie. The only ‘filmmaking’ or ‘storytelling’ taking place here is in how Milan Luthria manages to somehow stretch the premise for one sub-par, forgettable action scene into an entire bloody film. Not to mention just how badly stitched together and edited it is, with no attempt made whatsoever to make it even remotely cohesive.

What’s sad is I’m actually a fan of Milan Luthria’s school of cinema and I used to believe that’s his films are what commercial cinema should aspire to be, but with Badshaho the man couldn’t be lazier and more laid back if he tried.

Where to start? Perhaps the pitiful dialogue, lethargic chase sequences, pointless shootouts, Abbas Mastan-style twists not to mention the ongoing competition among the cast of worst acting ever. Not an ounce of conviction is visible in this poor excuse for a film, be it in the performances or wafer-thin action sequences. If only the actors had as much energy and passion going in as the trigger-happy-overly-excitable person behind the background music, who deserves an award for most annoying score.

The plot, if you can call it that, involves Ajay Devgn putting together a rag tag group of rogues to steal a Gringotts-shaming vault of gold in order to save the princess he’s sworn to protect. Throw in a whole bunch of double crossings and changing alliances along the way and man does anyone really care? To put things in perspective, among the film’s most engaging scenes is one where we are given a tour of a truck. Riveting, riveting stuff.

The first half features the longest build up to nothingness ever featuring various people who Always seem to be openly talking about secret plans that are supposed to be secret. Illeana D Cruz joins the ranks of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo‘s Sonam Kapoor on the list of Hindi Cinema’s most pointless princesses. A visibily tired Ajay Devgn is her bodyguard lover man who exclusively talks like a jackass through dialoguebaazi. Esha Gupta dons her favourite Indian-Barbie avatar and Emraan Hashmi wears a lot of eyeliner. The best supporting role no doubt goes to the gel supporting Vidyut Jamwal’s hair.

The sad part is somewhere in all this deafening silliness there’s a half workable storyline that could have made for an acceptable action film had it not been subjected to some historically terrible execution. It’s not even of the too-many-stunts-tied-together-with-zero-logic variety which makes for a passable movie. It’s just a whole lot of nothing that somehow manages to go on and on and on with Luthria half heartedly regurgitating every twist, turn and plot line under the sun just to see what sticks as some semblance of a story. Be sure not to miss one of the film’s most memorable visuals – Sunny Leone wearing a barrel.

Oh, and did I mention they forgot to include a climax because yeah.. they forgot to include a climax. The final scene cuts from the good guys fighting the bad guys to pretty much the end, showing no actual resolution or outcome of said fight, not that I cared either way. I’m assuming they either ran out of budget or suddenly came to their senses and just wanted to call it a day. Either way, Badshaho is a film designed to be watched by poor, unsuspecting film critics so you don’t have to.

In the end, Baadshaho is such few shits given, I’m going with half a star.

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