Review - Badmaash Company: Mixing business with pleasure: Funny money-making schemes & friendship

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

It's everything that's fun about a conjob - the core idea, the wool-over-the-eyes, the joke at the victim's expense. Everyone gets their just desserts and surprisingly all ends well.

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Remember the Hindi movies of the 70s? The villain would be a moneyed sleazebag whose ill-gotten gains were the result of his smuggling activities. As the decades rolled by and the Indian politico-commercial environment changed, the smuggler was relegated to the role of a side-character, often the comic relief who would explain his livelihood as ‘import-export ka business’ accompanied by a shifty-eyed look and knowing nudges from those who knew what that was a euphemism for. More than a decade later, Bollywood takes us on another tour of the psyche of this interesting character referred to as the ‘smuggler’.

Badmaash Company is a story of four people who board the express train of get-rich-quick schemes and where it takes them. A number of dubious schemes and their execution keep the audience entertained during the first half. At this juncture, I did wonder whether the director had run out of steam and if the movie would falter once the crime-gags were done.

In the second half, the story turns to the characters themselves and their relationships with each other. The movie transitioned well from witty to a somber ending. The slight Dil Chahta Hainesque note (the Badmaash Company is actually called ‘Friends & Co.’) is concluded quite neatly. By the end, it more like a coming of age story. Shahid Kapoor essays the transition from a starry-eyed youngster to a cocky, hardened man-of-the-world with subtle grace. The potential glimpsed in Jab We Met and Kaminey comes into its own with this movie.

Badmaash Company is contemporary in that the protagonist is shown in grey shades instead of the stark moralistic caricatures that were shown in movies made in 90s. Most people of this generation will be able to identify with the clash of attitudes with the earlier generation, the burning ambition and quest for fame, power and money, the disillusionment and even the peace that the characters make with each other and their choices.

Despite the multiple issues that Badmaash Company seeks to address, it is quite light and easy to watch. Real-life witticisms like ethnic jokes, pop feminism and friendly banter (digs at movie stardom dreams) keep us grinning as the story unfolds. After the long dark teatime of the cinemagoer’s soul on account of the IPL, Badmaash Company comes as a welcome shout back into the theatres.

This review is by guest reviewer IdeaSmith. Ideasmith is a moniker for Ramya, an ex-business analyst on sabbatical and an aspiring novelist. The free-spirited verbal performer in her shows up at The Ideasmithy and The XX Factor.

Parental Guidance:

Violence: No gore but domestic violence is hinted at.
Language: Swearing is hinted at (“Eff off”) in some scenes.
Nudity & Sexual content: Some kissing scenes and the song ‘Chaska Chaska’ shows some fairly sizzling sex. Premarital sex and unwed pregnancy are shown in a matter-of-fact manner.
Concept: The easy path of crime doesn't bring happiness in the end.
General Look and Feel: Glossy and bright, even in the darker scenes.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 4
  • Lead Actors: 5
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 4
  • Screenplay: 4
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 3

Badmaash Company - Movie Details

Badmaash Company - Trailer

Comments (17)

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Bollyfan:

Contemporary since the protagonist is shown in grey shades? Hmmm...what about the lesson in morality? The honesty is the best policy potion that the film is seeped in?

As for what you call ethnic jokes, IMO, they are no more than lame & insensitive schoolboy humour. Ask someone from the north-east how they feel about these "Chinese" jokes.

IdeaSmith:

@Bollyfan: Most jokes are at someone else's expense. I have (like most of us) been at the receiving end of my share of ethnic jokes. But it's possible to discern the malice from the banter. The jokes in BADMAASH COMPANY are exchanged between friends, just the way people in real life do...not to make someone feel bad but as a normal part of the bonding process. Of note, the movie also touches (albeit lightly) on how Chinese jokes could be hurtful to people from North-East and the perperator apologizes. Thank you for commenting.

Bollyfan:

Apologises and then continues later on. That's where the insensitivity comes out. Compare it with the sensitivity of a Shimit Amin, who also made a couple of "Chinky" jokes in Chak De India, but made up with a powerful comeback rather than a light touch.

And the malice comes forth in caricature that the Reebok executive is.

Moreover, the jokes weren't even funny. The last time I laughed at such jokes was when they used to be forwarded thru emails, a dozen years ago.

roydsilva:

The movie's a good baby stem in the realm of crime related movies. However, if you have a DVD of Oceans 11 or 13, or even The Sting, keep this movie until it comes up on Moserbaer. :D

Hindi Radio:

wow! what a movie! after long time such a nice thug movie and believe me its amazing. Shahid and Anushka rocks... very amazing ideas of cheating buyers. of course not at all close to reality but belive me a sure shot movie for shahid's hit list.

Rahul:

OK, this comment is not related to the movie (I am still waiting to see that - thinking of catching it in the cinema as I am in India for the summer).

A friend of mine has this blog where he posts quizzes which make you guess the lyrics of bollywood songs / movies by looking at pictures. I have found it to be quite interesting ... maybe there are more bollywood fans here that might be interested in it. Here's the link:
http://thequark.wordpress.com

Ali Naveed:

Hi Meetu

Please correct the Runtime of Badmaash Company - You have listed it as 2 Minutes!!!

meetu:

@real bollyfan I agree with haulerz99 here. If you don't like a film, do you think you'll be able to make a better film?

@Ali Naveed Done! Thanks a ton for pointing it out!

Article Directory:

It's just a very ordinary timepass movie targeted to 18-24 yrs. group.

meetu:

@Article directory and @Amit and that is very proudly the aim of the makers - timepass!

@Amit didn't know you visit wogma! A pleasant surprise!

bollywood music:

I think its worth to watch movie.Rating is 3.5

Rick:

good movie

Pakiisp:

its nice movie especially that one.."bade se bada....idea se bada hota hai

meetu:

@TimELiebe I thought the movie was alright. Could have been so much better.

meetu:

@TimELiebe sorry? *sheepish smile*

'could have been better' is the feeling i remember coming out with. Exactly what - i think i will have to watch it again to be specific.

MK:

@TimELiebe
On spot about the 'insider trading'. That was my first thought. I was like - whoa .. he wants to make a clean start & earn money the noble & righteous way ... & here he goes buying shares which he knows are going to spike up later due to inside information. Having said that, this was not the only error in screenplay .. but definitely a BIG one.. which shakes the premise of the transformation from bad to good..
This was my first thought after watching the movie & so I googled to check if anyone else thought so too :)

TimELiebe:

@Meetu - not to worry. I respect what you're site's doing - and I feel bad that I tend to be more "spoilerish" than you like.

@MK - oh, good! I'm not the only one, then! My wife and friends thought I was being picky when I brought it up - they pointed out certain aspects of "American Crime and Punishment" (let's leave it at that) set the movie in an alternate universe that's kind of like our United States, but much less rigid and vindictive.

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