By Arnab Banerjee
Film: Bholaa. Duration: 144 minutes.
Director: Ajay Devgn. Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Deepak Dobriyal, Sanjay Mishra and Gajraj Singh.
Cinematography: Aseem Bajaj. Music: Ravi Basnur.
Action is a wide-open genre and term, and when one endeavours to include an emotion-filled tale into the matrix, it sure does have a strong appeal to movie watchers cutting across demographics.
In his newest directorial, the actioner ‘Bholaa’, Ajay Devgn relooks and redefines the ‘Man on a Mission’ exercise with overwhelming fervour, grit and determination. And the best part is that for him, his awe-inspiring task seems
like some kind of an errand he has been made to run.
And so, when Inspector Diana (Tabu in yet another impressive cop role) confiscates a consignment of cocaine, obviously, the euphoria of the entire police force at her thana knows no bounds. But after downing a few drinks their elation is shor-tlived, when during the celebrations itself, senior officer (Kiran Kumar) and all the subordinate policemen fall unconscious.
Diana, who is on her way to the police station, is shocked at the sight of some 40 cops lying dead to the world on the ground. She must take them to a hospital for treatment and get them on their feet as fast as possible for she smells a rat. She figures out that the gangsters must be the brains behind such a nasty trick. It is clear to her that the drinks were laced with a poison that would kill them.
Just then, she learns that Bholaa has been released from prison after serving a sentence and is all set to meet his daughter Jyoti at the orphanage where she is being raised. Finding no one to drive the comatose lot of policemen, she instructs Bholaa to take the truck carrying all 40 of them to the hospital.
This is the man who would risk his neck more because of the fear that Diana would carry out her threat that if he chooses to disobey her orders, he would remain behind bars for the rest of his life, and never see his daughter’s face. It is now the lives of 40 men against the privilege of reuniting his child.
Diana also realises that the busting of drug trafficking gangster Nithari’s cocaine shipment worth ?900 crore by her and her team is the cause of such an act of revenge. And thus begins a race-against-time battle as Bholaa helps Diana and her team to take the almost lifeless cops to the hospital on the one hand and also evade, fight off and even attack, if need be, violent strikes from the hordes of men on bikes emerging every 10 minutes on the highway.
Orchestrated by Nithari, who has placed a bounty on the cops to motivate the gangsters, the ride gets prolonged more and more as every now and then, Bhola has to encounter ruthless and outrageously wicked goons who keep pouncing on his truck with deadly weapons.
Now, this is the kind of badass movie that goes down well with audiences. So long as the plot remains engaging in the edge-of-the-seat way, the 144-minute film kicks forward in a hail of bullets, car chases, fist fights, and martial arts wizardry. And who doesn’t love such action?
Led by actor-director Devgn, who is in full form, his character doesn’t even bat an eyelid when he delivers solid punches to dozens and dozens of men, He reminds us of his long trail of action-oriented films. And while he clobbers them all with his knock-out hits, there’s nothing but an innocent-looking face behind all the power-packed anger — after all, he needs to go meet his 10-year-old daughter who has never ever seen him!
With death-defying action sequences and an epic historic sweep, ‘Bholaa’ offers everything a martial arts fan could ask for. Music by Ravi Basnur and Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography are both in sync with the storyline.
Stately Tabu is every director’s choice as the most dependable actor who can pull off any role — a serious role of a wife or a lover (‘Haider’, ‘Andhadhun’), a fun-loving character in an out-and-out comedy (‘Bhool Bhulaiya’), or here, as the law-abiding, gun-toting uniformed officer, she essays each role with elan, dexterity, poise and honesty that’s rare.
From among the supporting cast, Gajaraj Singh springs a surprise with a streak one has not seen before in the characters he plays. Deepak Dobriyal has a limited number of scenes, but still manages to leave an impact. So does Sanjay Mishra in a small but significant role.
This tale would spawn a franchise, bringing more action and casting more A-listers in other roles in the sequels subsequently.
Amid all the high drama, look for four innocent teenagers who are called to the police station on a frivolous charge and end up getting embroiled in a death-defying drama of hostility, brutality and cruelty.
Your heart will go out for this new quartet of young actors who have surrendered themselves to the film completely and live their roles with complete earnestness. It’s ‘paisa vasool’ all the way! (Agency)