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Bang Bang: A typical Bollywood movie, too much bang bang but nothing more

October 8, 2014

I had a good time in these Durga Puja holidays without any specific programme of watching big movies in theatres. There was no release of any big science fiction movie in India on that time which would have suited my taste better. But I knew that two big starrer Hindi movies were going to be released in India during Durga Puja festival. One is 'Bang Bang' and another one is 'Haider' but I didn't have any plan to watch either of them in theatre. But a small news headline caught my attention that 'Bang Bang' had earned a whopping big amount of Rs. 175 crore worldwide in just four days. Boy, there must be something special in that movie, big star casting, an exciting trailer, action and romance…..What more can you ask for?

I had some other plans to enjoy my holidays but ultimately I decided to watch 'Bang Bang' instead. Just like everybody else, I entered into a movie theatre in south Kolkata with high expectation but by the time this movie reached its half time, I already knew that it was a shocker and a heart breaker as well. But I still didn't get into conclusion that it was a complete waste of my time rather I was still waiting for the climax and also looking for other entertaining elements in this movie. I also thought about writing a review.

Why did they choose
‘Bang Bang’ as the name of this movie? The sound is no doubt very loud. It has a Title Track ‘Bang Bang’ which I think came first and then came along the Title of this movie otherwise it doesn’t make any sense to me that the name has anything to do with the story of this movie at all.

Let's start from the beginning. When I said beginning, I meant Title Sequence. After showing all kinds of partner shit (this partner, that partner, xxx partner etc.), then the Title Sequence of the Distributor was shown that ‘Bang Bang’ was distributed as well as produced by Fox Star Studios. Encouraging huh! I was excited and waiting for a thrilling show with high expectation. The story starts against a backdrop of terror at the very heart of London. A terrorist mastermind Omar Zafar (played by Danny Denzongpa) was caught by London police but held in a special cell right at the MI6 Headquarters. But as the story goes, this character didn't look like a terrorist mastermind to me rather it should be outlined best as an international gangster. Do you know what kind of agency the MI6 is? It is the British intelligence agency (Secret Intelligence Service or SIS, commonly known as Military Intelligence, section 6 or MI6), the counterpart of India's own secret intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing). Don’t you remember James Bond movies? He is the fictitious secret agent of this same MI6. I don't believe that MI6 handles any gangster like Omar Zafar by any means. So, Interpol or Scotland Yard would have been the appropriate agency in this case. An Indian Army officer Viren Nanda (played by Jimmy Shergill) along with two more Indian Army officers arrived there to receive Omar Zafar and take him back to India. After a brief lecture, he informed Omar Zafar that India and UK are going to sign a new extradition treaty. First of all, Indian Army does not engage in this kind of extradition activity especially in overseas because there are other Indian agencies in place for that kind of jobs and secondly India and UK have already signed the extradition treaty in 1993. Had the extradition treaty presumably not yet been signed between these two countries by then, how come the UK govt. would have handed over Omar Zafar to India without signing the treaty? Omar Zafar’s henchman Hamid Gul (played by Jaaved Jaffery) along with a handful of men with automatic guns then came into sight to rescue Omar Zafar. They killed all the guards in MI6 very easily and subsequently killed Viren Nanda with high drama before rescuing Omar Zafar. As a matter of fact, Omar Zafar himself killed Viren Nanda in cold blood by shooting and then burning him alive. Surprisingly all the guards in MI6 were either Indian or from Indian origin and I think James Bond himself would have fainted for sure should he knew that how easy that rescue operation was.

Let’s proceed further. As soon as Omar Zafar flees from MI6, a new news headline emerges on all the TV news channels across the world that the precious and prestigious Koh-i-noor diamond has been stolen from the Tower of London. The interesting part is the very reason behind that stealing which is the declaration of Omar Zafar that he will give a reward of $5 Million to the thief who must be an Indian, so that Omar Zafar can hold both India and UK to ransom in order to prevent the extradition treaty which is yet to be signed between these two countries. If this is the motive, then what on Earth an Indian thief is necessary for that, because the nationality of the thief is not important but the diamond itself is, if the mission has to be accomplished successfully. OK fine, next stop is Shimla in India. A meeting has been arranged between the thief Rajveer (played by Hrithik Roshan) and the men of Hamid Gul for a deal for Koh-i-noor. Now Rajveer doesn’t agree to complete the deal with the initial reward money of $5 Million but demands $20 Million instead, as a new price. I was confused that if we just leave the successful smuggling part of the diamond from UK to India, why any thief comes to an agreement to finalize the deal in India instead of somewhere safe place in UK so that the risk of being caught could be avoided or minimized. If I am not wrong, the price tag of Koh-i-noor should be above $1 Billion or it could even be priceless. If you can get $1 Billion or some less than that in black market, then would you like to deal it just in Millions? Did you see the Koh-i-noor diamond which Rajveer showed to the Men of Hamid Gul at an open restaurant in Shimla? It was a good and typical diamond shaped diamond but not the good replica of Koh-i-noor. I think the actual replica of Koh-i-noor won’t look like a good and typical diamond in the movie and therefore it was an intentional presentation of the diamond by the Director.

Now the sweetest part of the film takes place, which is the appearance of the Heroine of this movie, Harleen Sahani (played by Katrina Kaif). I must say that the Director of this movie has portrayed this character Harleen Sahani in a very peculiar way. She works in the Bank of Shimla as a Receptionist but where is the Reception Desk? She sits in a common desk along with other Clarks inside the Bank and handles some telephone calls. Please don’t tell me that this is a new ultra-modern type of Receptionist job. She is single but doesn’t have a Boyfriend. It is not like that she doesn’t want a Boyfriend, because she is still looking for a Date with the help of a dating website. A modern young female character with a great figure and a good job and who lives in a modern city of India, is still looking for her first Boyfriend. Can you believe that? Sorry, I cannot buy that story. May be the Director could have presented this character Harleen Sahani in a better, mature and acceptable way. I don’t want to spend too many words how Katrina Kaif speaks in Hindi or how good her acting skills are. It’s a open secret and already well discussed by the fans of Bollywood movies. There is nothing to add there.

The arrival of Indian secret agency Internal Secret Service (ISS) is another interesting part of this movie. Make no mistake that it's 'Internal', not 'Indian' in ISS. So, UK has SIS, Pakistan has ISI and India has ISS. They thought that it couldn't have been better than that but why ISS, a fabricated name, instead of RAW or IB. If you can use the name of MI6 for British intelligence agency, then what makes you think to use a new fictional name
instead of a real one for Indian intelligent agency. Is there any copyright issue for using these real names in movies? “Kahaani’ or ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ told us otherwise. No, I think the actual reason is Pakistan. We have seen how ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ was banned in Pakistan due to the presence of RAW and ISI in that movie. I think the Director has successfully saved the market in Pakistan for this movie. Did you see the CCTV footage of Rajveer with the Koh-i-noor in his hand, which came into notice of ISS chief Narayanan (played by Vikram Gokhale) and his deputy Zorawar (played by Pawan Malhotra). That CCTV footage was taken in Shimla at the time when the deal between Rajveer and the men of Hamid Gul was about to be done but the fact is, that restaurant, its owner or its waiter do not seem to me reliable for owning and positioning the CCTV camera in place besides the fact that this restaurant was an open restaurant and if you consider the angle of the shot, it seems impossible to place a CCTV camera in that restaurant.

As the Hero and Heroine are running away together, Heroine is witnessing the spy kind of fighting by Hero with the bad guys, crossing continents without passport or visa, experiencing the life in Hideouts; it slowly reminded me about a Hollywood movie ‘Knight and Day’ (Played by Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz) and as much as the events unfolded, they seemed familiar to me, I was literally losing my interest in this movie and practically it was too hard for me to hold my patience till the end. Who are the Script Writer and Director of this movie? Are they stupid and do not do any homework at all or do they think that the audience are all stupid? How can the Director gets inspired so much and copies the scenes of ‘Knight and Day’ so obviously in ‘Bang Bang’? Later I came to know that ‘Bang Bang’ is the so called official remake of ‘Knight and Day’. Really! An Indian version of that Hollywood movie. Good Lord! Please give the Oscar to the Director of ‘Bang Bang’ in a new category which is “How to Remake Officially and Destroy Successfully, a Bollywood Movie”. Please do the official remake shit only for south Indian movies or even try to remake officially the old Bollywood movies. A few Bollywood Directors have successfully done that but please keep the Hollywood movies aside for now.

The story circles officially from London to Shimla via Prague and Dehradun. But the change of locations didn’t follow any logic. The couple escaped from Shimla and reached to a hideout which is an island somewhere in Europe and close to Prague, but without any passport and visa. Remember Harleen Sahani when she escaped form the grip of ISS in hurry and clearly she couldn’t carry her passport with her. I am leaving the passport and visa part in this movie. It looks real that the she can be brought back to India by the help of ISS and Indian Embassy in Prague. Finally the Heroine has been kidnapped by the men of Omar Zafar form her house in Shimla and brought to the hideout of Omar Zafar in the middle of a Desert. Bike riding, F1 car riding and sea plane all close to a Desert which looks to me a modern Arabic Desert probably in the Middle East. The locations are fine as far as this shiny and bang movie is concerned but there is no such place in India close to Shimla and the Thar Desert in Rajasthan doesn’t look like that with ultra-modern highways, F1 cars, flyovers, sea planes etc. OK let me leave this change of location part here. It can be accepted in movies especially in Bollywood movies.

The climax was like a typical old Bollywood movie from 70s and 80s. The control of the situation gets exchanged three or four times from the Hero to the Villain and vice versa before the end of the evil. Before the fall of Omar Zafar, Rajveer or Jai Nanda revealed the secret that it was a joint operation of MI6 and ISS altogether to catch or kill Omar Zafar and Jai Nanda is the brother of Viren Nanda who was killed by Omar Zafar at MI6 Headquarters in London. The Koh-i-noor was actually never stolen from the Tower of London. It was a trap for Omar Zafar. The Heroine Harleen Sahani once followed the trail of Rajveer and reached to his real home at Dehradun and discovered that Rajveer is, in fact Jai Nanda, the brother of Viren Nanda and an Indian Army officer like his brother. So, the Indian Army with the help of ISS, sent Jai Nanda to pursue his personal vendetta and catch Omar Zafar dead or alive. I believe Indian Army will never allow that kind of secret mission officially or even unofficially. The last scene is a happy ending with the reunion of Hero, Heroine and the parents of the Hero (played by Kanwaljit Singh and Deepti Naval) at the home of Jai Nanda in Dehradun.

Some of the songs and their picturisation are good in accordance with the modern Zen-Y taste and also good for night clubs. If you are the crazy fans of Katrina Kaif or specially Hrithik Roshan and if you know how to ignore the logic and yet just want to enjoy a typical Bollywood Hindi movie, then you can watch this movie without any hesitation. This movie has its own entertaining elements and all the masala of a typical Bollywood movie. Hrithik Roshan has been presented as a complete entertainment package and some may say that it’s a complete paisa vasool movie, after all, it has joined the Rs. 100 Crore club in the first week of its release.

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