Movie Review: ‘Bangistan’ by Neha Ravindran


Movie: BangistanDirector: Karan Anshuman

Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Pulkit Samrat, Jacqueline Fernandez, Kumud Mishra

Genre: Comedy

Bangistan by critic-turned-filmmaker Karan Anshuman, stays as close to its disappointing trailer as possible. The trailer promised of nothing extraordinary and the movie stands true to this promise. Sadly, it’s a satire that will not make you laugh, or smirk, giggle or even smile. I sat stone-faced through the movie, and I am still stone-faced as I write the review.

In a country named Bangistan, somewhere in the land of nowhere, two religious groups (yeah the same old) are amidst never ending fights and riots. Hafeez Bin Ali (Ritiesh Deshmukh) and Praveen Chaturvedi (Pulkit Samrat) volunteer to be the suicide bomber for their religious group and decide to blow up a conference on religious peace to be held in Krakow. Unfortunately they come to know about each other’s plan but their identities are still masked. It’s all a question of who will win this religious war! 

Now though, Bangistan is a brilliant concept, the execution falls flat. It is undoubtedly a fresh take on the run down religious satire in terms of presentation. More so as it hits out religious fanatics who criticise other religions without a clear understanding of their own texts. However, in the same breath I want to confess that the movie fails to take off right from the very beginning. The shots of the city of Bangistan are directly of the Jama Masjid in Delhi and Ghats of Benares which was pretty disappointing; the least they could have done is to avoid noticeable giveaways. But the other way of looking at it is the sneakiness with which a subtle message is conveyed that Bangistan resides right under our noses, in our own very city. (So take your pick!) And though the concept is good, the storyline inevitable isn’t.

The pace of the movie was all too slow that I dozed off for a few seconds (aai shapath..). I liked Pulkit Samrat’s efforts in the movie, as well as Riteish Deshmukh in the role of a conventional serious ‘musalmaan’. However, the supporting cast is barely supporting as they are all somehow squeezed into the movie. The songs waver between fun and passable. Though the lyrics by Ram Sampath are fantastic, other than ‘Is duniya se ladna hai’, none of the other compositions made a lasting impression on me. Cinematography by Szymon Lenkowski is lovely as Krakow is indeed a beautiful city.

After two weeks of pretty good releases, Bangistan is one that can be missed. However, if I were to go the audience’s response, which comprised of less than 20 people in all, they seemed to have a good time. So give it a try if you absolutely must watch a movie this week, or else the next weekend is definitely going to be exciting. I can feel it in my bones!

My verdict: **  

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