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Babumoshai Bandookbaaz  : Bad Ass Women & A Bloodbath
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Friday, August 25, 2017
Kushan Nandy
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Divya Dutta, Bidita Bag, Murli sharma

Blame the mix on Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur. Writer Ghalib Asad Bhopali has blood, bullets, bold scenes and bad words running amok in a small town. And, like Kashyap, director Kushan Nandy keeps the scenes and the performances raw and rough.   


For small time contract killer Babu, as long as the money’s right, he’ll put a bullet through anybody’s head. Don’t take it personally, says his swagger. It’s just a job I do. There’s no personal connect when he pays and lays a woman either. Until he meets his match in saucy Phulwa, wins her over and she willingly moves in as his special woman.


He’s the hit man for a local politician, another raunchy woman who smokes beedis and issues off-with-their-heads orders. Until Babu gets on her wrong side when he tips her off about a job he’s got to kill her key henchmen.


Complicating the plot is the arrival of another contract killer, Banke Bihari. It’s edgy stuff when Babumoshai puts a gun to Banke’s head only to learn that he’smet his most ardent admirer. Banke has grown up wanting to be a legendary killer like Babu.


It’s edgy again when Babu takes Banke home and watches Phulwa and Banke do some drunken dancing together. I was just testing both of you, he says at the end of it.


It’s quirky fun when Babu and Banke team up to kill Triloki, one of the politician’s henchmen with dark humour prolonging the target’s agony. 

But of course Babu and Banke will soon have their own showdown too.


And that’s when most of the taut edginess gets prolonged with turncoats and tattlers and nobody’s to be trusted. It’s palace intrigue in far humbler surroundings with dire deaths for everybody around. Like Divya Dutta, playing the wicked leader, is buried in sand with scorpions and black ants crawling all over. But ultimately, there are no winners and nobody winsyour sympathy.


As always, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is at home being raw, raunchy and rattlesnake dangerous. Divya Dutta and Murli Sharma are good at playing bad. But two fresh faces hold their own in such professional company. Jatin Goswami as Babu’s ardent disciple Banke Bihari and Bidita Bag as passion-bag Phulwaare interesting to watch.     


For a film that’ll work in small towns and single screens but won’t appeal to a family audience, Babumoshai Bandookbaaz gets a 3* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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