With the Bobby Deol starrer KISMAT still fresh in the minds of the viewer, you go to watch BARDAASHT with preconceived notions and not many expectations!
E. Niwas' BARDAASHT may not be the most intriguing experience you've had, but you do feel positive at the end of the screening. The film has its share of plusses and minuses, but more than anything else, BARDAASHT drives home the point that Bobby Deol is not merely a star, but an actor as well.
Also, E. Niwas is a competent storyteller.
Aditya Shrivastav [Bobby Deol] is an ex-army officer who was in love with his senior officer's daughter, Payal [Lara Dutta]. He was a brave and promising soldier but was asked to leave the force for not obeying his senior's orders.
His disobedience and subsequent dismissal from army was looked upon so poorly that even Payal had to bid him farewell. He started a travel agency and looked after his younger college-going brother Anuj [Ritesh Deshmukh], coming to terms with his disturbing past.
Anuj is a mischief-loving daredevil, but one day his deeds cross all acceptable limits. The college principal warns Aditya of his younger brother's delinquency. When Aditya takes this up with Anuj, they have an altercation over the issue, following which Anuj leaves the house in a fit of anger.
When Anuj doesn't return the next day, Aditya tries to trace him through friends and colleagues but to no avail, after which he lodges a police complaint, only to discover that his brother is no more, shot in a police encounter while in possession of drugs.
Shattered, Aditya simply cannot accept his brother could do something like this and decides to uncover the truth behind his brother's death. From here, the story takes a new turn.
In the course of the investigation, Aditya doesn't find the police FIR very convincing. His search for the truth uncovers the series of terrible events that lead to his brother's death.
Aditya decides to take it upon himself to clear up his dead brother's image when the police refuse to do so. He goes to court, taking the help of Payal, who is now a lawyer and old emotions are now slowly rekindled.
However, his adversaries [Rahul Dev, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Ganesh Yadav] will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth remains hidden and Aditya has no option but to take up the gun to prove his brother's innocence.
BARDAASHT is yet another film that exposes the corrupt few in the police force. In this case, the villains [cops] are painted black without beating around the bush.
A number of similar-sounding flicks have been witnessed in the past [the innocent versus the corrupt], but what makes BARDAASHT rise to a watchable level is E. Niwas' deft execution of the subject.
Though the story moves at an indolent pace at most times, there're some riveting and entrancing moments in the film that connect with the viewer instantly. Instances: The sequences in the police station with the cops enjoying a game of cricket and a helpless brother awaiting his sibling's return.
The film gathers momentum when Bobby gets to know that his brother has been shot dead in a police encounter. From thereon, the sequence of events keeps you on the edge. The introduction of Tara Sharma's character at this point provides an interesting twist in the tale.
Though the interval point [Bobby confronting Rahul Dev at a felicitation function] is formulaic, yet the expectations from the post-interval portions are enormous because of the interesting goings-on in the first half.
The post-interval portions do hold your interest, but intermittently. Reason being, the film follows the same path that has been undertaken by films of this genre.
But, of course, the courtroom sequences as also those involving the two prime witnesses - Virendra Saxena and Tara Sharma - again take the film to a new high. The climax is sure to meet with mixed reactions, but there's no denying that it has been ably filmed.
Director E. Niwas' obsession with the police force shows the third time in BARDAASHT [after SHOOL and DUM], though he hasn't got into a too realistic groove this time around. What makes BARDAASHT watchable is the way Niwas unfolds the story - it moves on a singular path from start to end [there's no romantic track or an item song or a comedy track to mar the smooth flow of the narrative!].
Besides, several sequences have been handled with flourish. Scenes such as the one when Bobby goes to the police station to lodge a complaint or the scene in the morgue or even the one when he returns to the police station to lodge the complaint against the cops show his command over the medium.
The flashback - revealed by Tara Sharma - is gruesome, but well handled.
Himesh Reshammiya's music is melodious, in keeping with the mood of the film. The film has three songs in all and at least two stand out - 'Janaabe Aali' and 'Silsile'. The background music [Amar Mohile] is adequate.
Cinematography [Rakesh Manikantan] is first-rate. Dialogues [Girish Dhamija] are punch-packed. In fact, the lines delivered by Bobby Deol and Virendra Saxena stands out in the enterprise. Even the war of words in the courtroom is proof of able writing. Abbas Ali Moghul's action scenes are well executed, especially the fight in the first half [Bobby's flashback].
Vikram Bhatt's story may seem jaded, but the screenplay is what matters eventually and that's where Bhatt deserves marks. The simplistic manner in which the sequence of events unfolds makes it even more identifiable. However, a better climax was the need of the hour, for not only does it look contrived, but is even a compromise in terms of writing.
BARDAASHT is a triumph for Bobby Deol, who takes full advantage of the role offered to him and gives his best shot. He displays the gamut of emotions like a seasoned performer and delivers a knock-out performance. In fact, it won't be wrong to state that this is amongst Bobby's best performance to date!
Lara Dutta looks lovely and delivers an equally fine performance. Though the courtroom sequences were difficult for a newcomer to handle, she is at her natural best here. Ritesh Deshmukh, in a brief role, leaves a mark.
However, the revelation is Tara Sharma, who disappointed in her first two films [SAAYA, MASTI], but is fantastic this time around. Her sequence in the courtroom is amongst the high points of the enterprise.
Rahul Dev is competent yet again. Vishwajeet Pradhan is alright, while Ganesh Yadav stands out with a first-rate job. Nagesh Bhosle [as the corrupt lawyer] impresses. Virendra Saxena is flawless.