Rating: 2 Star
Bangistan is a marriage of ironies. Film critic Karan Anshuman makes a critical cinematic disaster. Prodigal producers Riteish Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar dole out a poor box office product. Two young, handsome actors Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat fill the screen and yet, avert the audience’s eyes.
A fictional place on the globe, divided by communal hatred and riots, Bangistan has two good Samaritans in the Hindu high priest Dronachraya (Shivkumar Subramaniam) and the Muslim maulvi (Tom Alter) who dream of peace between the two communities. They target the 13th World Religious Conference in Krakow, Poland to spread this message. Simultaneously, Hafeez Ali (Riteish Deshkmukh) and Pranav Chaturvedi (Pulkit Sharma) are sent on a suicide bomb mission to Poland.
The plot and the premise looks promising on paper. As a story pitch, a sarcastic and satirical narrative like this would seem to have a good scope. Unfortunately, despite the best intention, the execution suffered beyond tolerance. Bangistan once again becomes an example of e good message wrapped in a terrible medium.
The recreation of the Afghanistan-like cold mountains for North Bangistan and the tropical heat of South Bangistan are interesting recreations. The call center in the cave, the McDonald’s rip-off and the fake political parties were nice touches. However, all this would have been effective if this pseudo-reality and fictional setting was supported by a really good script. If the dialogues were not cliché, lacking and in- your- face obvious, the movie could have been a good entertainer. Also, the low production value was too visible to ignore and the audience wouldn’t be wrong if they felt short changed.
The real adventurous ride begins when the two lead protagonists make their trip to Poland. The inverted identity where Chaturvedi dons the deceptive identity of Allah Rakha Khan while the real Muslim moves as Ishwarchand Sharma makes the dynamics intriguing. Again, there was immense scope for humor here on the mistaken identity. Yet another opportunity wasted. Between the sensation of the communal tale, the filmmaker forgot to string together a series of sensible scenes. The film has already cut down on budget by restricting the picturesque Poland to the dreary interiors of two rooms in a guest house. But, to waste good, honest actors like Deshmukh and Sharma is another sad writing on the wall. The confrontational scene between the two at the conference when Hafeez discovers Pranav’s deception shows the potential of these actors to create emotion and drama. If only their skills were truly valued and justified with a screenplay. Even the religiously neutral character of Rosy (Jacqueline Fernandes) is half-baked and yet another scope of a sweet, romantic track was left unattended.
Bangistan is peppered with incessant songs that intersperse the narrative in a most dramatic fashion. Ironically, even the better songs do sound great minus the visuals of the film. With the menu of movies expanding at the box-office, Bangistan should not find a mention even as a starter.