‘BAHUT HUA SAMMAAN’ IS A QUIRKY ONE TIME WATCH DARK COMEDY

Rating: 3/5
Taking a dig at country’s political and corrupt scenarios, Ashish Shukla’s film is a casual entertainer, using satire as its biggest advantage

Hints of widespread popularity of Patanjali or the over symbolism and over referring the lotus for political polarisation, Bahut Hua Sammaan talks of putting an end to capitalism. The word is used several times in the film to make a dialogue and conversation; with an aim to teach the youth of the country some lesson. In doing so, it does evoke laughter, but doesn’t actually make a statement, which it sets out to do.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

Bony (Raghav Juyal) and Fundoo (Abhishek Chauhan) are perpetually failing engineering students, with nowhere to ind hope. They get talked into robbing their own campus bank by Baba (Sanjay Mishra), who thinks of himself as some krantikari believing he will bring about a change in the system. Things fall astray when they get arrested, leading to several bigger problems.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

Writers Avinash Singh and Vijay Narayan Verma have done a decent job of atleast coming out with a decent plot narrative- the issues that concern the youth of the country on a serious level. How they do is also enjoyable to some extent. Infact the first half of the film is fresh and breezy. You enjoy the situations thrown and also have a hearty laugh. Things start to fall apart in the second half when too much of it gets on your mind.

The thread of two hopeless students wanting to earn money, and falling prey to a bank robbery idea is good- symbolic of larger condition of the young population of the country. They do get caught, are bailed out with difficulty, and then also use their brains to do something good. The premise is interesting and holds strength. In order to not make the plot preachy, the makers have seemed to resort to comedy, but in doing so (adding too many characters), the film gets convoluted towards the second half.

bahut hua samman, disney+hotstar, hindi, film, review, 2020
Scenes from the film (image source: disney+hotstar)

There are mentions of capitalism, Marx, Lenin, corruption, politics, involvement of a spiritual guru guiding the politicians, how innocent is looted of their own money, and also what youth can do. Everything is shown fairly except the last part here. The role youth plays seems to have been diverted in its essence. You don’t get to see how and why youth is such an important part of the fabric and what should they do. The path taken here doesn’t solve the confusion.

Comedy is fine. It is enjoyable. There are certain sections especially the ones with Sanjay Mishra and the two boys that very funny, with how the scenes have been shot. The language used is mostly the slangs containing ample cuss words, that too in typical rural slang. The language is also why certain section will find the film attractive. But even in doing so, the purpose of the film shouldn’t have suffered. There is a distinct style of narrative used to put in words the sounds that emerge- like the punches or slaps or gunshots becoming dhishoom, chataak, or dhaay respectively.

PERFORMANCE

Sanjay Mishra, clearly the hero here performs to his level best. There is so much that’s dependent on him and his acting skills. Had it not been him, the film would have fallen flat. You like the drama and enjoy the dialogues because Mishra is in charge. He has categorically made the role belong to him with his eccentricities he brings in the role. The film is delightful, majorly because of him.

Raghav Juyal and Abhishek Chauhan, both have matched each other perfectly. In the role of broke youngsters with nothing bright and lively, they are very good. They bring a charm in the film, a vibrant energy, something that young people can relate to. And that is where the drama gets entertaining.

bahut hua sammaan, disney+hotstar, review, film, hindi, 2020
On sets of the film (image source: instagram)

Nidhi Singh as the adorably strict police officer is very very good. She brings in layers and tells you that she has an important role. Although it is a role not very well written, Singh makes sure you remember her long after you’ve watched the film. Her scenes with her husband (played by Namit Das) are also very hilarious. The manner in which she delivers her dialogues is bang on. Whenever she comes on screen, you expect to crackle up. Namit Das lends great supporting act, in a character that is a good breather.

Ram Kapoor has a relatively shorter role, but a different one from what you are used to seeing him in. He is a weird criminal, telling moralistic stories about the jungle life, relating it to the crime he does. The stories are indicative of the world you live in. He does well with his role.

Flora Saini performs well, in a smaller screen presence. She has her moments. Sharat Sonu and Bhupesh Singh as Bhola and Raju are also very very good.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

There are hardly any songs, and you rightly don’t feel the need too. The background score is very effective. The sudden dramatic tunes and beats liven you up while you are invested in a scene. The score binds the film well.

Cinematography by Parasher Baruah is decent with lots of bright colours at play. The film travels various places and locations, and all have been highlighted with strokes of colours. Production design is also satisfactory for such a film. It is not always real, and you do get cinematically charged up at times, which here, is a good case.

Editing by Suchitra Sathe has been done nicely. The transitions stay with you, where one character gets painted in a sketched format and the plot moves to other characters associated. The parallel narrative thus achieved keeps you up with the storytelling happening at different points.

The film had the potential to say a lot of things. With ‘comrades’ at hand, it does the needful for most of its part. But wherever it doesn’t, it falls miles apart. The overall appeal hence breaks off.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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