Sometimes you are left wondering why the potential of a star is not used to its full extent more often. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Bullett Raja' is a good example of what Saif Ali Khan is actually capable of, reminding you of ‘Langda Tyagi’ from ‘Omkara’. Yet it is not a repeat of the old act. This rustic act of Saif Ali Khan makes you want more.
Saif plays Raja Mishra, a trigger happy small town boy who turns into a fully fledged gangster as he gets entangled in a shootout. The story then plots his and his friend Rudra’s (played by Jimmy Shergill) journey in the politics and violence of Uttar Pradesh. Raja and Rudra then make their way up into main stream politics while playing henchmen for the leading opposition party leader.
The movie is action packed and the director does not try and keep it understated to attract crowds. He does not try to pull off ‘Dabangg’ style stunts either. The hair raising action sequences are fantastically paced and the wit and humour used to set off the scenes remind you why Dhulia is a genius. The characters of Raja and Rudra make compelling anti heroes. They are loyal, romantic, witty, macho, strong and exude panache in every move.
The movie has an great cast ensemble. Gulshan Grover and Raj Babbar in negative characters make you nostalgic for their performances in the 90s. Even Chunky Pandey, who plays a negative cameo in the first half is really commendable. Jimmy as usual makes you think why he is so underused in Bollywood and why more directors don’t take him on board. He seems to be one of Tigmanshu’s favourite actors – with a splendid performance in this movie, the director is not far off the mark. Sonakshi Sinha plays her 'typical' Bollywood heroine role, and does not have much to contribute. Even the romantic angle given to the movie is wasteful. Ravi Kishen plays a character with a lot of potential in the movie and could have been utilised better.
A special mention should go to Vidyut Jamwal. If after Akshay Kumar there is dearth of a true action hero in Bollywood; Vidyut is the answer. Even though he comes onscreen only for the last 45 minutes or so, he delivers a power packed performance and the jaw dropping stunts which he has choreographed and executed himself are breath taking. Added to this his good looks and a well toned body would ensure his female fan following only growing with more projects.
The movie is all about the refreshingly original screenplay and the tight direction. The dialogues (written by Tigmanshu himself) are crisp and witty and don’t fizzle out at any part of the movie. They are not over done either. Some of them got wolf whistles as the audience cheered the actors for some more.
“Brahman bhukha toh Sudama, samjha toh Chanakya aor rutha toh Ravaan.” (When a Brahmin is hungry, he is Sudama; when he understands, he is Chanakya; and when angry, he is Raavan)
“Uttar Pradesh ki raajneeti me koi khas nahi hota, jo jaan deta hai wahi khaas hota hai.” (In the politics of Uttar Pradesh, nobody is a favourite. The one who can give his life for you is the favourite.)
With all the pluses in the movie however, the songs in the movie are disappointing. Sajid-Wajid have provided a good background score with a true Hollywood western style mouth organ playing at the pauses and the intense parts of the movie. But, the songs are badly placed. ‘Dont touch me’ and ‘Tamanche pe disco’ make you think why the director needed to put these tracks at all when he could have easily done without them.
Dhulia’s biggest mass entertainer venture yet, ‘Bullett Raja’ is not your usual gravity defying stunt filled motion picture that asks you to leave your brains behind. The twists and turns in the plot keep you rooted to the seats for the entire movie. They might be somewhat predictable but are not stretched and don’t underestimate the intelligence of the viewer.
The movie is a must watch for anyone who loves hard core action. It is not as intense as Dhulia’s previous ventures were, but ‘Bullett Raja’ will surely not let you down.