Allah ke Banday - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

Dark, violent, underworld crime drama. There's more of the same. With a slight difference that's not completely new, but some thought nevertheless. That's not enough though. You are left a spectator and are not riding along with anyone in particular.

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The "revenge is futile" concept is as new as the next "boy meets girl" plot. Moreso, when it's set in a Mumbai slum. But that in combination with the "ganglord wants to mend his ways" has enough meat to make a film if it is treated with finesse. Allah Ke Bande starts on its way there, but gets lost in trying to stylize and dramatize. A couple of very interesting plot points lose out because the writer/director don't know where to focus.

The writing also suffers from the usual pace issues. One half slow, other half desperately trying to catch up. I understand the set-up is necessary for us to feel for the characters, but here it didn’t matter. The second half could very well have been a different film. None of the characters introduced in the first half have anything to do post-interval (yeah-yeah, except the protagonists!)

Sharman Joshi is the cool, calculative planner, Vijay and Faruk Kabir is the impulsive executor, Yakub. Though there were times when Yakub doesn't follow plans and Vijay does most of the execution. But there's no serious, unfathomable deviation from initial set-up. Sharman does a very good mix of tense, disappointed, rebellious, romantic. Faruk on the other hand is very repulsive. This is intentional in all likelihood, but it gets overbearing and boring to see him on screen. Oh yeah, and the boys who play young Vijay and Yakub didn't work for me one bit. Their fuming seems superficial and their wigs serve as an unpleasant distraction.

And despite the two doing exactly what is need of their characters, they fail to engage you. How is it possible when you are not privy to their plans? If I just see the execution, all I end up saying is "a shootout is a shootout is a shootout" and "a chase is a chase is a chase." What's the point if I don't care whether or not the chaser is caught and who is being killed in a shootout?

There are soft moments and a couple of thought-provoking dilemmas. Mostly evoked by Atul Kulkarni's character, masterji (the school teacher). That's the situation, not the performance. This role is nothing close to what our man is capable of. The other moments are allowed by Anjana Sukhani's character, Sandhya. Sure, this is just another case of the woman being used as a prop, but Sandhya had shades of Parveen Babi's Anita in Deewar.

There are many more smaller characters, but none that stick with you except for Naseeruddin Shah's performance as a warden. He has an impact on your nerves when he's on screen but after having seen the whole film, that role just looks like it was there for that one brutal scene in the jail.

Allah Ke Bande's attempt at showing the inhuman conditions prevalent in such "homes". It tries to show how much harm these homes do instead of teaching the children a better way of living. It doesn't want to take a risk and keeps itself from getting too dark.

A movie about crime usually has very little new to say. Allah Ke Bande tries real hard. You can't say it succeeded, if after seeing all the difficulties the protagonists go through, you feel, they get it all too easy. Are too many movies on the subject desensitizing us?

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads include rape in a boys' remand home for juvenile delinquents
  • Language: Not too frequent but strong and in Hindi.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A scene of love-making - mild.
  • Concept: That of revenge, and how the society is doing nothing about the kids who grow up with crime.
  • General Look and Feel: Sepia and glum

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 2.5
  • Character Artists: 2
  • Dialogues: 1.5
  • Screenplay: 1.5
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 1.5

Allah ke Banday - Movie Details

Allah ke Banday - Trailer

Comments (1)

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Flowers:

I'm looking forward to this 1

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