Banjo - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?) - Only if you are interested in watching the energy infused to the music.
quick review:

Watchable for the energy that visuals can add to the upbeat, festive music. Else, very passable.

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Wogma Review

Banjo is the regular underdog drama, in the music sphere. It is even below average in its story arc, setup-build up-climax and so on. But, it makes up with its music. Now, can one watch a movie for the energetic visuals of songs (about 20 minutes of screen time)? I guess almost all of us will have the same answer.

Now, for any film that is about a slum-dweller wanting to make it big, we know how the story is going to progress. We aren't really expecting any great deviations from the norm. Banjo's unpredictability unfortunately comes from the fact that the expected takes too long to happen. The first half hardly moves. We know Chris (Nargis Fakhri) is looking for Tarrat (Riteish Deshmukh) from the trailers to participate in a music competition. She just keeps looking for a long, long time.

The digressions in the form of their love story or Chris/Tarrat's jobs or Tarrat's relationship with his band-mates all are rather lacklustre. In addition, some of them slow the pace down further. Almost all of the handful of funny lines are seen in the trailer. So, there is nothing to look forward to there either.

For a flash of a moment, when a newspaper delivery boy aspires to be a water tanker owner or when Tarrat expresses the kind of love he is capable of, you are hopeful for more moments of decent writing. But, naah, nothing of the sort happens. Instead the film is littered with scenes like Mumbai dwellers ogling at women in short dresses and men in ties with equal enthusiasm - as if they've never seen either before, Riteish Deshmukh beating people up and so on.

There isn't anything very moving or engaging in the acting department either. Riteish Deshmukh does the drunk bit, the macho beating up goon bit, the love-struck bit in rhythm – one after the other. While performances by the other band members are full of energy, Nargis Fakhri loses you at her dialogue delivery itself. It is painful to watch her speak Hindi. And for all the hue and cry about creating music together, her character has all of three lines to sing.

Which brings us back to the the gaping hole in the writing department. It is not about plausibility or loopholes, that discussion can come only later - only after there is some meat in the plot, the situations, the scenes.

I can't but admit that I am a tad disappointed. This music deserved a better film. For a film that wants to glorify the banjo, it is disappointing to see the banjo player set aside the instrument to dance within a few seconds of its introduction. The flip side is that when you hear the instrument play, complete justice is done to the music it can create.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few fist fights
  • Language: A scene or two with a lot of abusive language
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A few scenes with the camera gazing at skimpily clad women.
  • Concept: The rise to stardom of a local band
  • General Look and Feel: The songs are picturized in a way that add energy. These stand out in the otherwise ordinary set-up of a slum.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 1
  • Lead Actors: 1.5
  • Character Artists: 1.5
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 3.5
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Banjo - Movie Details

Banjo - Trailer

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Comments (4)

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kawkaw:

That sets the movie apart from any other. We know we may not see foreign locales, white sarees and tulips or sunflowers or even mustard fields. We will see the actual hard work that an average Indian puts in to survive.

Bibs:

I am hoping you would review "Parched" this week

meeta:

@Bibs I hoped so too. However, there were no shows with appropriate timings in theaters close by. :/

Pandit:

First hindi movie From RAvi Jadhav thats why i want to watch :)

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