Shah Rukh Khan
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Banjo, in essence, is an underdog story. It is a story of a band that rises from the slums of Mumbai; a street to stardom narrative. The genre does not quite allow experimentation with format, allowing the director liberty with characters and their development. And Ravi Jadhav grabs everything he has to create characters that impress you. And the way he does it should impress you much more.
A girl, an NRI from New York, is in search for some new music, for her new song which she wants to submit to a big competition. Her friend in Mumbai stumbles upon a fantastic Banjo band and sends her an audio file. And she lands in Mumbai to find a nameless band so that she can collaborate with them. And as she sets out to achieve the nearly impossible task she meets Taraat, the Banjo player who does not quite want to her to know that he is actually the player she is looking for.
The first half of the film is dedicated to Chris’s effort to find the band and lighter moment. While you will enjoy the freshness in the way director Ravi Jadhav introduces the characters, the first half, filled with too many songs, heads nowhere. The second half is where the pertinent drama sets in.
While Banjo does not have problems that disrupt the narrative, it does have an eye-sore in Nargis. The actress who had debuted in another music journey, Rockstar, is easily the most unacceptable part of Banjo, Her performance pulls the film down in a way very few performances can do. Of course, she looks extremely attractive, but that’s where things stop.
An earnest Riteish Deshmukh does everything in his power to make up for anything that is lagging in the film. He kicks butt, plays banjo and delivers comic scenes like none other. And so do the duo Vishal-Shekhar, with some foot-tapping music.
Director Ravi Jadhav, known for delivering some big hits in Marathi cinema, tries to play by the formula in his Hindi film debut. He tries everything – from comedy to bromance to romance. He also showcases his ability to make films look big. All of these keep Banjo fairly entertaining. But it fails in getting past just being entertaining to being a stand out film.
By Noyon Jyoti Parasara
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