Director: Ravi Jhadhav
Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakri,
Banjo is an African musical instrument which was modified and adapted as an Indian musical instrument known as BulBul Tarang, commonly called Banjo. The movie’s title suggests a film around the instrument or storyline that will revolve around the instrument. After all the movie is called Banjo. Disappointingly neither did I learn a thing or two about banjo nor did I get to understand why the movie is called so.
Taraat (Riteish Deshmukh) and his friends have a band in Mumbai in which Taraat is the lead singer and he plays a banjo. Christina (Nargis Fakri), who lives in New York, happens to hear a recording of the band’s performance. A musician herself, she is convinced that Tarat and his friends hold great potential and decides to make music with them. Only she has no idea who these guys are and where to find them. In the city of dreams and thousands of dreamers, will she be able to find them and bring alive her dream or go back home empty handed?
Banjo is a movie about a band and their struggle to find recognition. So for all I care the movie could have been called drums, guitar or just a band. Riteish Deshmukh’s character is of a man born and brought up in the street. He extorts money for the local politician and pays banjo as his passion. His acting is the only high point of the movie. Nargis Fakri has a comical puppy eyes expression every time the scene gets emotional making you cringe. So, now and then there are passing references to what banjo means to the character and a lot of over-drama with all the band members calling themselves banjo players where as they actually play different instruments. But any way, Id still let that go. However, what I really cannot get my head around is with all this emphasis on the banjo, I had hoped for a song where the music will be focussed on the banjo. Remember, the song ‘Mastaani’ from Baaji Rao Mastaani is a piece where the main instrument is a Banjo. The movie has some good songs, but none of them have the banjo has a central piece.
The storyline is chaotic. Good half an hour into the movie, it starts dragging. But even then the first half is bearable. The second half is a direct spiral down into boredom. I struggled to keep myself awake and beat the urge to check the time again and again.. And to top it all, the movie ends abruptly. For a second, I kept staring at the screen to know what happens next, till the credits started rolling.
The highlight of the movie is its music by Vishal-Shekhar. The song ‘Udan choo’ sung by Hriday Gattani has not left my mind since I saw the movie. The cinematography revolves around a slum in Mumbai with a few scenes shot with the sea in the backdrop. The setting of the movie is well captured by the cinematographer.
Banjo, will certainly not top my list of recommendations for you. So happy weekend at home folks!
My verdict: **