Direction: Tigmanshu Dhulia
Tigmanshu Dhulia’s films usually boast of very nuanced writing. However, in his attempt to make an out-and-out commercial film, Dhulia sacrifices the many intricacies that we have come to associate with his storytelling.
‘Bullett Raja’ plays shamelessly to the gallery, starting with a raunchy item song even before we begin to establish the lead characters. That kind of sets the tone for the rest of the film; the narrative follows the predictable formula, interspersing a gangster movie with redundant song-and-dance numbers, peppering it with a tepid romantic track, liberally adding some dialoguebaazi, all of which fail to add the desired zing to this masala flick. I am sure there is a better way to churn out a typical Bollywood potboiler.
‘Bullett Raja’ does have some first class action sequences; Saif Ali Khan and Vidyut Jamwal are fit and effective. The easy camaraderie that Ram (Saif Ali Khan) and Rudra (Jimmy Sheirgill) share in the first half promises some genuine laughs but the film soon slips into a protracted revenge saga. While we witness collusion among the rich and powerful, their motives remain ambiguous.
Sonakshi Sinha is a mere prop in this gangster story, her presence completely superfluous to the happenings in the film. She needs to soon find at least a couple of roles where she can sink her teeth into something worth her while. In a highly competitive industry she has so far given us little reason to look forward to her presence in a film. Her ‘village belle’ look is repetitive and she really needs to do more than bat her huge eyelashes and provide a broad supportive shoulder to her heroes.
It is a colossal waste that an actor like Jimmy Sheirgill is underused in this film. Dhulia has worked with Sheirgill before and is completely aware of his range as an actor but as Rudra in ‘Bullett Raja’, he has little chance to exhibit his craft.
Mahie Gill handled a complex role in ‘Saheb, Biwi and Gangster Returns’ with such élan and she is reduced to an item girl in ‘Bullett Raja’ reveling in grooving to vulgar pelvic thrusts.
‘Bullett Raja’ is not completely unwatchable but we have come to expect a certain class from Tigmanshu Dhulia and it is sad to see him sacrifice that in a bid to make a commercially viable film.
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