Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Published: October 26, 2018 9:56:10 am
Baazaar movie review: Saif Ali Khan plays Shakun Kothari, a top Mumbai player, the king of the stock market, who risks big, and wins bigger.
A famous Hollywood character once intoned: greed is good. He lived the good life: fast lanes, cars, yachts, watches, women. And then came the crash, and we were told that whoever goes up, comes down. Thats what happens when you work from greed, not need.
Saif Ali Khan plays Shakun Kothari, a top Mumbai player, the king of the stock market, who risks big, and wins bigger. Till one day, he doesnt. Newbie Rizwan Ahmad (Mehra), small town boy from Allahabad understands hunger and drive and is willing to cross a line. Till one day, he isnt.
The clash between Kothari and Ahmad is one weve seen often, between the established biggie and the rapid climber. Thats how Michael Douglass Gordon Gecko got to redefine greed in Wall Street in 1987 to the up and coming Charlie Sheens bright new boy on the floor; Baazaar in 2018 is almost the same film in a different setting, but with none of the sharpness of the original.
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The treatment is moth-balled (a line in English is translated immediately after in Hindi) and hackneyed. Bad songs punctuate the proceedings. Background music is used to buoy almost every scene. Weve seen almost each of those beats before, to the point we can tell what the character is going to say next.
Debutant Rohan Mehra works hard at investing ambitious Allahabad boy with sincerity. Khan brings to his never-forget-your-roots Gujju bhai a canny ruthlessness, but in places the accent slips. Hes always doing something interesting, though: I kept looking for that tiny thing he does with his fingers, a twist and a flick. And Apte is now playing Apte.
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The faithful old-timers Kothari surrounds himself with, and the traditional ways of doing business in todays age: some of those little touches lift the film, and you hope for more, but it sinks right back into its axis of corrupt politicians, stockbrokers with too much wealth, insider trading and complicit TV anchors, rich men (and women) plotting to make more money, and others about to step off high-rises. Seen that.
Net worth of Baazaar: an interesting bunch of actors in an uninteresting, uninvolving film.
- Saif Ali Khan