There is a fair enough mixture of right and wrong in the second half of the movie Baazaar that gives it a little bit of respectability. This Desi wolf of Wall Street is an extremely loud and dramatic depiction of the crooked world of stocks. While for a majority of its runtime we might feel the dialogue baazi a little too old school, but there is something towards the end that makes it that watchable flawed film.
Rizwan Ahmed is this Allahabad small town guy who aspires to be a big name in the stock business. And his role model is a Gujarati businessman Shakun Kothari who has been an invincible presence in the business with an extremely negative image. How this obsession for power and money spoils the life of Rizwan when he eventually joins his inspiration Shakun Kothari is what the movie showing us.
Off late, the character selection of Saif Ali Khan has been great and if you look at Baazaar, here also the actor has managed to grab an opportunity to showcase his talent. Subtlety is never a strong point of this script and we can see almost all characters talking about their plans and procedures almost in the Abbas Mustan Race style. For me, that was the biggest letdown factor. Because the script wasn’t really coming up with ideas or events that were totally unpredictable, when it talks too much through dialogues, it becomes a dull experience. The moment the film talked about a character that was there in the office prior to Rizwan, I was able to guess a possible backstory and the movie failed to prove me wrong.
Rohan Mehra who debuts as the central protagonist Rizwan Ahmed has a commanding voice and if he can find better scripts he could well be a good prospect. Saif Ali Khan who chose to play the more meaty character of Shakun Kothari is undoubtedly the scene stealer here with that precision in his performance in being that cunning and smart Gujarati businessman. It wasn’t a one-dimensional character that just went on to walk in suits and that’s the reason why I said his character selection has been impressive in the recent past. In fact, he was the only actor in the movie who managed to make the bumper sticker dialogues sound a little more realistic. Radhika Apte is pretty much underused here in her character and Chitrangada Singh was indeed a good choice to pair with Saif, but she also gets a character that has importance on a script level, but not much relevance when it comes to performance.
Gauravv K. Chawla can’t present the script in a more organic way. He has certain interesting styles of narration, just like the freezes one sees in visuals during the narration. But this Wolf of Wall Street like quirkiness doesn’t get that entire conviction because of the typical Hindi movie texture that pops out at regular intervals of time. The tricks in the arsenal of the hero to get things done aren’t going to make you whistle and as I said in the beginning, there is no big unpredictability here. The last quarter of the movie has certain character arcs and philosophies happening and in my opinion that saves the movie from being a random story. The visuals don’t really have any catchy craft in them and in some scenes, you could really sense the continuity errors in the mere placement of characters. Too many songs are there in the film and some are totally pointless.
Baazaar could have been a good mixture of dialogues and grey characters. But with a slightly outdated loudness in its narrative along with a predictable trajectory, it couldn’t achieve its full potential. It’s one more half-baked Saif Ali Khan movie where you won’t feel like criticizing him for selecting the script.
With a slightly outdated loudness in its narrative along with a predictable trajectory, Baazaar couldn’t achieve its full potential.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended