It is kind of ironic that at one point in the movie Bandra, the characters are speaking about the risk of the movie business and how a good story is the most essential thing about a good cinema. If they had applied that philosophy to this script by Udaykrishna, Ajith Vinayaka would have never agreed to produce this movie. Bandra, directed by Arun Gopy, is a tiring drama that tries very hard towards the end to redeem itself as an action entertainer. With storytelling becoming terribly bad and stretched in the second half, Bandra is a dull film filled with burned-out scripting tropes.
Sakshi, a struggling filmmaker in Bollywood, is trying for her debut, and a big star has offered her dates if she can come up with a good story. The search for that story takes her to the suicide of an actress from the ’90s named Tara Janaki. We see her research for what happened in Tara Janaki’s life and how she discovered the bond between Tara and a man named Alan Alexander Dominic, aka Aala, in Bandra.
SPOILERS AHEAD! There is this movie within a movie thing happening in Bandra. As you may have already guessed, yes, in the end, Sakshi makes her debut film with that story. But seeing her getting applauded by everyone is quite an awkward visual for us as an audience as we have been made to suffer through the same story by Arun Gopy with “real” characters. The linear and slim idea of Udaykrishna is getting stuffed with cliches rather than creating something that is genuinely enticing for the viewer. It seems like the movie was confused about whether it should portray its hero as the “Rocky Bhai” of the ’90s.
Dileep, with that fake beard and hair, sporadically has the swagger to be that mighty hero, and the grace isn’t consistent. In the initial areas of the movie, the story is happening in Kerala. Udaykrishna taps into the humor shade of the character in that part, and Dileep manages to be pleasing. But after that, the movie is in the drama zone. Tamannaah Bhatia as Tara Janaki is an apt choice as she plays this fair Bollywood heroine of that era. In terms of depicting the emotions of a constrained young girl, the performance was fine, and I think multiple people have dubbed her character (not sure). Dino Morea is that imported villain from Bollywood who is always in Blazers. Eeswari Rao plays the role of Dileep’s mother. Lenaa, Siddique, Kalabhavan Shajon, Sarath Kumar, Ganesh Kumar, VTV Ganesh, Sarath Sabha, etc., are the other names in the cast, along with Mamta Mohandas, who portrays the role of Sakshi.
In terms of visual styling, Arun Gopy has the imagination to make the content look superior for a trailer cut. The fight sequences inside the tunnel and the parallel fight shown along with that are all stylish. But the foundation of all that is a bloated and typical script by Udaykrishna. Whenever new characters or plot twists were introduced into the movie, my reaction was, “Here we go again.” I am not making this up; the costume you see Tamannaah wear at the beginning of the Raka Raka song is for a movie about Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh. I hope Karni Sena doesn’t have a branch in Kerala. The very last fight in the film that I think has the use of a high-speed Bolt camera is the only fight that looks good on screen. But unfortunately, by the time the film reaches that point, you are already looking at the exit board.
Bandra is an excruciatingly long and dull action drama that has no aspirations to impress the audience. At the very end of the movie, the makers have taken the Kurup/ KOK way to announce a possible sequel. Audacity will be a lesser word to describe the decision to retain that sequel announcement after seeing the final cut. Looking at the getup in which Dileep tries his Khureshi Ab’raam stint, I think he should explore characters in that age group rather than playing son to an actress 6 years younger than him.
Bandra is an excruciatingly long and dull action drama that has no aspirations to impress the audience.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended