Messy Narrative Kills Thrilling Plot
‘U/A’Certified, 2 hrs 46 mins
What Is the Film About?
Ravi (Suriya) is a member of SPG (Special Protection Group) who look after the security of the Prime Minister of India. Escalating tensions between India and Pakistan lead to Indian Prime Minister Chandrakanth Varma planning harsh action. A businessman Mahadev (Boman Irani) comes with an idea regarding the same. Unfortunately, an unexpected incident happens which Ravi couldn’t stop. What has happened and how Ravi find out the culprits is what the movie is all about?
How Is Suriya’s Performance?
Suriya is a versatile actor who has done a wide variety of roles. He slips into any part given to him, and we can see that in Bandobast as well. Suriya plays an SPG officer, and he looks the part. Sadly, that is where all the interest ends.
There is nothing new or exciting done acting-wise from Suriya. He has done similar acts in the past and goes through the routine with all the sincerity. There are a couple of action scenes which are neatly choreographed, but that’s it. The actor fails to engage the audience emotionally with his acting. It is not bad but is part of a mediocre movie that doesn’t help it register.
Direction by KV Anand?
KV Anand too much like Suriya is a versatile director. His subjects are widely different but bear a typical robust style that makes it easy to differentiate him from the rest. With Bandobast, he returns to the political thriller space which he dabbled in Rangam. Unfortunately, the results are quite contrasting.
Bandobast never gets going as a narrative from the start. It is always a start and stop, kind of thing. If there is a small stretch that engages, it is immediately followed by something else that doesn’t make sense directly. Yes, it gets connected at some later parts, but such screenplay needs to be constructed carefully. If not, one can quickly lose track and subsequently the interest.
As soon as we get to the introduction of Suriya and follow the subsequent scenes, a clarity dawns on us. Bandobast is not going to be anywhere near Rangam; instead, it reminds one of the mess that Brothers was. The latter was the second combination in the actor-director duo.
In the beginning, we have an Indo-Pak issue going on with terrorism angle. It is immediately cut to farmers and their lands. We then have the bodyguard routine. Following it is a businessman. Amidst all these, there are a few love scenes that appear and disappear randomly. And there is a good for nothing son, who is waiting for his turn in the story. This is, in short, the first half. And this is the better part of the movie.
The second half is businessman versus the Prime Minister. There is thorium mining. Presence of lab cultivated Caelifera. A bodyguard is a proxy Prime Minister. More Caelifera. The on-going bits and pieces romance continues with a birthday party attended by the Prime Minister in disguise. We have male and female Caelifera. Add some local politics dosage in between. Finally, an ending that can be as predictable as one can imagine.
As one can understand by just reading, too much is cramped in, taking the narrative in multiple directions every alternative scene. To turn what is already bad, into worse, everything is put together poorly.
As said before, there are a few stretches (in isolation) that do make for gripping viewing. The interval block is an excellent example in that regard. Similarly, there is another block in the second half involving the key player.
On the whole, Bandobast never comes together as a narrative. It has a predictable plot that is marred heavily by muddled narration. Too many ideas and weak writing kill any little fun that could be had. In short, Bandobast is one the weakest outings of KV Anand, if not the weakest.
Saayeesha and Others?
Mohan Lal is apt for the role of the Prime Minister. He exudes the command and presence for the part. He has better acting moments in his time compared to Suriya, who plays the lead. Arya is wasted for the most part. In the second half, he has a couple of scenes, and that’s it.
Sayyeshaa is part of the narrative, alright, but it never seems essential. Her character is the most butchered one. Chirag Jani is impressive is whatever he has got to do. Boman Irani overacts and irritates after showing promise initially. Poorna is wasted, and Samuthirakani is alright.
Music and Other Departments?
It is not just the songs of Harris Jayaraj, but the background score also feels outdated. Everything gives a heard before feeling. The cinematography by MS Prabhu is neat. However, the editing by a senior pro, Anthony is bad. The narrative feels disjointed from start to end. The dialogues add to the woe.
Few Engaging Scenes
A Couple Of Fights
The businessman and political nexus angle should have been explored in a much better fashion.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Bandobast Review by Siddartha Toleti