wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?) - 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.

Read more
Director: Ravi Jadhav
Running time: 140 minutes
Genres: Romance
More Movie Info

Banjo - Preview

Sports, dance, music – change the art form around as much as you like, the underdog story is very likely going to stay the same. The underdog will win against all odds. At the most, they will meet an unlikely failure. Even so, by and large the movie has only two ways to end. Then it all boils down to the semantics of the story. How the situations turn around, what the twists are like and so on. While Banjo doesn't seem to have too many surprises under wraps, it still looks like it is likely to entertain.

It looks like the music has the biggest role to play in that expectation. It has the rhythm to make your heart pace and the energy to make you want to listen to it over and over. Of course, Riteish Deshmukh's conviction is a big plus too.

However, Nargis Fakhri's attempts to act, the drama that goes along side any underdog film, the dialogue-baazi, the inspirational talk all make you cringe. So do some of the jokes. On the other hand there are other one-liners that work and bring a smile. I'd call that a fairly balanced trailer, with a slight tilt towards likable.

Music Reviews:
Bollyspice - "1/5"
Bollywood Hungama - "3/5"
Bollywood Life – "4/5"
Filmfare – "3.5/5"
india today - "Ravi Jadhav's Banjo presents Bollywood music in its best form, and we ought to thank him for bringing Vishal-Shekhar back on their feet like men possessed"
Milliblog - "Banjo sees Vishal-Shekhar produce the third good album in recent times."
Music Aloud – "3.5/5"
Times of India – "3.5/5"

- meeta, a part of the audience

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

29 reviewers(?) - 3 yays 12 so-so 14 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Rahul Deo Bharadwaj , Desi Martini : ...Go watch Banjo but keep your expectations in check. It’s a simple tale for the simple audience ! ... full review

Thumbs up, by Smita Kumar, Desi Martini : ...Banjo is an entertaining film with a heart. You see how difficult life is for a large section of our population-the daily fight for basic necessities-water, shelter, education came through to you subtly. It is a celebration of street culture and music that may be looked down upon in a fancy nightclub but that strikes a chord with the masses as they dance at festivals like it’s a big open air disco. You won’t be disappointed with this movie and next time even join in a visarjan procession and dance to the beats of a banjo band. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...If you are familiar with Mumbai's working-class neighbourhoods, where the hearts of the poor are bigger than the pay packages of those residing in the mushrooming high-rises, you'll be able to notice the beauty of Banjo. It also makes you respect the street musicians a little more. ... full review

So-So, by Subhash J Jza, Bolly Spice : ...Interesting music pieces (Vishal-Shekhar), a furiously implosive background score (Sourav Roy) and a principal cast that believes in the plot’s quintessential rags-to-riches logic tends to keep the storytelling afloat.HoweverBanjo is unlikely to set the boxoffice on fire. Its energy remains half-doused by over-statement. ... full review

So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...The film's cinematography (Manoj Lobo) is decent. The film's editing (Devendra Murdeshwar) is average. On the whole, BANJO fails to strike the right notes on account of its low hype, confused second half and bizarre culmination. At the Box-Office, it will struggle for decent footfalls.... full review

So-So, by Sreeju Sudhakaran, Bollywood Life : ...Banjo would have been a really good entertainer, if the film had stuck to what the title had promised, instead of straying to other subplots. If you are a Mumbaikar then this is a one time watch for you. ... full review

So-So, by ROHIT BHATNAGAR, Deccan Chronicle : ...'Banjo' is a light-hearted entertainer which is just like any other music based film. Looks like, the filmmaker was trying hard to match up to the standards set by 'Rock On' but fails to do so. The film is certainly a one time watch. ... full review

So-So, by Jaiwantika Dutta Dhupkar, : ...Banjo tries to recreate the mania of the local Ganpati band - the wild drums, the wilder dancing, the drunken smiles and the riot of colours, and actually makes a convincing effort. Go watch. ... full review

So-So, by Vishal Verma, : ...Unfortunately, one of the main reason for watching BANJO (after Riteish Deshmukh) is Ravi Jadhav and he turns out to be the elephant in the room. He seems to be not in his perfect sync to make that zing we loved in NATRANG, BALAK PALAK. ... full review

So-So, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...A good musical drama suddenly changes into an average formula tale of a hero with a golden heart, villains who can consider a sudden change of mind, heroine with a knack for dancing and stretched dialogue-baazi. ... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...Conclusion: The well-meaning nature of Banjo cannot be debated, but that means nothing when the movie doesn’t entertain as much as it should. And it is unpardonable when a movie gets boring. Riteish Deshmukh is in great form and gives it his all, but the movie itself stretches on for 20 minutes too long. Having said that, the director Ravi Jadhav has a good track record and Banjo should be considered nothing more than a temporary setback. We would be interested in seeing what he does next. ... full review

So-So, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...If you love a good underdog story and are a true Mumbaikar at heart, 'Banjo' will surely strike the right note for you... ... full review

So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now : ...The climax is good fun. The movie ends rather well. Great song, and ending of rivalries. Yes, yes, there's a rival band there too. Go watch them, and dance in the aisles. And hope Riteish stops acting in the awful sex comedies and gives us such happy frothy romances. ... full review

So-So, by IANS, Sify Movies : ...Banjo could have been a story well told, sans the customary cliches of the lives of slum dwellers, but nevertheless, it has its moments of earnestness and Riteish and the music of the film are certainly among them. You may not love it, but you will definitely not hate this film. ... full review

So-So, by Saumil Gandhi, Upper Stall : ...Banjo is a good attempt as a film. Embellished with a lot more craft and savvy, it could have been a full-blown orchestra instead of a pleasant tune that is heard and forgotten. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...In all, in this musical film called BANJO, there is neither any music nor any fresh storyline or execution to justify its chosen title. So just play some good music on your audio system instead and leave this BANJO alone, may be to be tried later when aired on a channel soon. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Merkwürdige Liebe, Desi Martini : ...Banjo is just as stupid a film, but it doesn't give you even base pleasures - the soundtrack is shrill and the sheer pointlessness of the songs the way Ravi Jadhav uses them doesn't make things easier either. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Banjo gets a bit lost in its ambition. This movie aspires to be a marriage of Marathi and Hindi culture, it even tries to tie in International music culture with traditional Indian values. But in its attempt to be so many things all at once, it never manages to focus on one aspect – the core story. The underdog story is a proven winner in cinema, but this movie just misses the right note. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Renil Abraham, FirstPost : ...Banjo does have a few catchy songs to which you can groove, but some parts of the plot are cliched and the others are too random. Don't be surprised if you switch your brain cells off in the first 30 minutes. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...This could well have been a desi version of ‘A Star is Born’ but the poor conceptualisation and unappealing narration leaves one listless and dissatisfied. ‘Banjo’ is quite an unrequiting experience especially with the music so abysmally unappetising- and to think this was meant to be a musical drama. Phew!... full review

Thumbs down, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...While Banjo should ideally have been a showcase for Deshmukh to flex his acting muscles in a solo hero project, this film struck all the wrong notes for me. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Tatsam Mukherjee, india today : ...But those are still the little details. The makers of Banjo should have focused on the bigger issues like a less contrived script, a better-acted film, and a movie slightly closer to what Mr Jadhav would have made in the parallel universe.... full review

Thumbs down, by Surabhi Redkar, koimoi : ...Vishal-Shekhar’s music is high on beats and does make sure you’re left foot tapping in the theaters but additions such as ‘Pee Paa Ke’ are a complete waste of time. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...The hero opposite Nargis is Riteish, of course, the tanned sadak-chaap mawaali, with a pony tail, thick beard, looking a shade of Shah Rukh Khan from Happy New Year, which this movie seems so similar to as well. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Riteish's signature line, which his character mumbles throughout the film, has a consistent prefix, "Life tumhe do choices deti hain..." For the audience, there's an option to skip this film or perish in a multiplex near you.... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Rarely does a film press so much noise into service to achieve so little in the end. Heed this warning: don't get within the earshot of Banjo. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, : ...In the end, the notion of a film about an undervalued genre of musicians is more compelling than "Banjo" itself. It starts out from a promising place, but fails to make any leaps or strides. I'm going with a generous two out of five. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...By the time Banjo serves its dark horse comeback to a pounding Vishal-Shekhar spectacle laced in unabashed Maharashtrian pride, indifference has seeped in. ... full review

Thumbs down, Zee News : ...Music composers Vishal-Shekhar contribute a few foot-tapping numbers to Banjo, but everything else in the film is a drag. Only for Riteish Deshmukh fans. The rest can give Banjo a miss. ... full review

73 tweeters(?) - 51 yays 4 so-so 18 nays

TinuShinde: #Banjo lay bhaari @Riteishd dada... @NargisFakhri

tanmays: #Banjo was surprisingly good. Was expecting it to be like just another Ritesh flick. But @meranamravi made it work. Great job!

simplypratima53: After long time liked any movie #Banjo so so zabarjast music I loved, fantastic job @Riteishd @NargisFakhri

SaqibLatifKhok1: love ur movie #Banjo Dill jeet liya sabki acting ne @Riteishd @Riteshd_fclub @TeamRiteishd

sandeepkchanda: Loved #Banjo

Sam_Nitin1: RT nawabjha: #Banjo is a good musical drama. Here's my review on htTweets

sachincena200: A mind blowing movie #Banjo !!! Grt chemistry of @Riteishd and @NargisFakhri ...must watch movie if u r a bollywood fan #publicmetre

RukhsRD: Loved the fact that taraat's n chriss love was not focused bt Banjo was focused in the film.Ending was exactly acceptable @Riteishd #Banjo

Rk_wasim: Watched #Banjo its so impressive amazing concept and @Riteishd and hair was ufff Wow...

reyaz99: #Banjo movie is for story lovers and it will inspire with the one dedicated towards his/her dream.. #Riteish #Nargis

RD_fan_Veena: Watched #Banjo never had fun like this before.. Totally loved it @Riteishd & @meranamravi -magic - hats off to both of u. Rating **********

Ranu48925557: I like this movie #Banjo

RakiiSolanki: What a performance @Riteishd and @NargisFakhri your gaali wala scene was amazing and the music was on top all the time #Banjo.. Bajaate Raho

Rajyasree: Too good. @aarungeorge watched Riteish Deshmukh-starrer, Banjo and discovered many things about cinema and music.

RahyalR: #Banjo #lifesmasti #awesomemovie Ritesh nice work after so long A grades

PikusukulSourya: Great pieces of work by the banjo team.Nice movie.9 out of 10 for them.#banjo @Riteishd @NargisFakhri

niTin_rAUt_7: #banjo लय भारी... #तैराट @Riteishd एकदम झकास performance @NargisFakhri ....

nishanthooda001: Fabulous work has done by @Riteishd as a result film was also fabulous. I loved the concept. It was awsome keep rocking #Banjo

MusicalDoctorOZ: Do go and watch Banjo ... @Riteishd & the film, both are looking super cool...

muksibadal: Watched #Banjo loved @Riteishd s acting after a long time should do more solo films @NargisFakhri great job congratulations to all the team

mpculturebpl: बैंजो, लुप्त वाद्य खासकर जिसकी उपस्थिति आधुनिक और लोक संगीत दोनों में रही, उसके कलाकार का संघर्ष मॉर्डनाइज़ सही, अच्छा प्रस्तुत किया। #Banjo

meSonalee: And he's a rockstar...LOVED him in the film...he's a true scene-stealer! Very very cute performance by #Ishaan in…

mastiiitv: Is #Banjo​ must watch the movie of the month? Watch Mastiii #MovieReview now.

maharashtraone: #BanjoWithTix #Banjo has great energy!! must watch movie!!

LidiaBender14: Ravi Jadhav: Riteish Deshmukh was my first choice for 'Banjo'

kobo_bang: #Banjo _Bangs Grrr8 work from @Riteishd in all forms,gr8 looks dear @NargisFakhri Really hattsoff @meranamravi asli radaaaaaaa

KhanAhmadIrfan: #Banjo is best experience.- @nargisfakhri :)

Jholl_master: Banjo great movie,must watch @Riteishd great work

ipraveenanand: What a fantastic movie..Take a bow @Riteishd @NargisFakhri #BANJO #Mustwatch #Musiclovers

iamsurya939: Beautiful movie #Banjo @Riteishd, @NargisFakhri

iAdeshmukh: Watched Banjo and still watch it every day on YouTube...Hats Off to u @Riteishd and Director @meranamravi Rating: *****

HemantAnjara: #Banjo Its really good movie. I enjoyed alot thanks @Riteishd @geneliad All go and watch once... Aali Re aali aata Ritesh chi Baari Ali..

HassanMuridwala: #ThisSunday enjoy #bollywood movie #banjo

gritopoetico: Banjo is amazing

gavade_gajanan: only banjo ....lage raho ritesh dada

DINESHJAGDISHDJ: Wow gud movie great work Ritesh. One of solid roles of Ritesh's career#Banjo#Ritesh Deshmukh

Dhirend51962234: Banjo is great movie pls watch it if you already watch it so pls see again.

deepakg35: Watched #Banjo, @Riteishd लय भारी दादा , भारी काम केलत, छान


bcompany: Simply loved #Banjo movie. Honestly and simplicity of @Riteishd rocks. @NargisFakhri cools super awesome.

basha82645: #Banjo entertain movie... Good to watch..

bablanikapil: awesum movie.. #banjo

atesh98: Watched #banjo movie awesome i gave 3star all team 2good funny name pepar,grees,bajya&tarat full on enjoyed with my friends rada rada

AnupammMathur_: Banjo ko Baar Baar Dekho

anpadwal: #Banjo Film Review | @Riteishd steals the show in this musical celebration! लई भारी... by @Riteishd via @c0nvey

ankitanair24: Watched @banjo , superb storyline. Definitely a must watch. @Riteishd at his best in dis. Loved u totally. U can add me as 1 of ur fan now.

anand20199: Ganpati bappa morya #Banjo love it @Riteishd lovely movie sir and u rock the band "Ganpati bappa morya "

anaggh: Banjo: Liked it.

Aman93deep: #Banjo is a must watch, Music is average but the sound of Banjo(an instrument) will make you want more. 3 stars #reviews

Ainatbadhon: Just watched #banjo its seems like bar bar dekho... Supe duper blaster #banjo loved it..

12345ankitgoyal: good movie to watch...!!!

Sethumadhavan: #Banjo-The music is a plus & Riteish Deshmukh does well but overall very predictable fare.

Revolution_A: Banjo(2016), watch the movie only for Ritesh Deshmukh's acting. He is at his best. #BanjoMovie

girishjohar: Saw #Banjo... only relief & good is @Riteishd ... music is below avg...moments are far n few ...loooong too

bizzarebhide: Riteish Deshmukh is the ONLY good thing about this film. #Banjo

VishRathi1: #Banjo to lagta hai agle Hafte mein puri utar jayegi.. #Disaster

urs_crazyking: Lack of Banjo was music if music is not good how musical movie will b. Liked @Riteishd as always True rockstar And my big brother #dharmesh

t2telegraph: Parched is a universal tale of sisterhood, but Banjo strums the wrong notes #t2reviews

Sumitrajkadel: Watched 30 mins of #Banjo -I have only few words for this film "Bencho yeh kya tha" . If u have guts then go and watch bencho . (No rating)

SaluHeer: Banjo flops nargis cant speak hindi will some of these actresses please learn hindi u work in hindi industry first learn hindi then acting

RKhabar: रितेश की फिल्म बैंजो' में संगीत तो है लेकिन इसका आनंद नहीं है

RJTapan: Banjo movie jova karta ta to Road par avta jata Banjo Sambhdvo saro....

rij79: Baffling why some actors in #bollywood insist on doing bad solo movies when they r meant to be good supporting actors only #banjo

RanjanPant: Avoid #Banjo @Riteishd wasted. Had to walk out at interval for sanity

PappuManji: One of the mist senseless movies watched in recent times #Banjo please avoid!!

niranjan_synd: Watched Movie Banjo it is totally waste of money....

keenu30: Banjo: A Musical Disappointment

katamulgi: Movie review of #Banjo "Bhencho" movie..

ilovefuddi: #Banjo 1 of the worst film of year,congrts @meranamravi for debuting with & ruining also @Riteishd career,u really did Natrang?Now retire!

IAm_ssorry: .@Riteishd sir, #banjo ki to baj gayi band. Ma'am @NargisFakhri ko lekar bajaoge shadi me band?

Gurmatpal: #Banjo 1/5 (most boring movie of the year, offers nothing new)

dysleksick: Life aapko 2 choice deti hai. Ya to #Banjo dekho, Ya na dekho. Go with the 2nd Choice. Such a poorly scripted movie. Total waste of money.

__Hamza: Banjo ? :"/ ye movie hai ? haaa thuu

1 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Want to Watch, by Pandit

Yay! Thumbs Up, by kawkaw : Banjo Movie Review – Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri Musical Drama

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

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):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Banjo - Cast, crew, links

Running time:
140 minutes

Comments (4)

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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.


I am hoping you would review "Parched" this week

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

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

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