Film Review: Baazaar
Baazaar Story: Rizwan Ahmed (Rohan Mehra) leaves Allahabad behind and with it, the small-town mentality, too. He moves to Mumbai, a city with soaring skyscrapers and dreams that fly even higher. His one wish is to work with his idol Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan), but the greedy and manipulative world of money, power and the stock market draws Rizwan in, a little too fast.
Baazaar Review: A wily movie character once said, “Greed is good”. It’s a thought that sums up the very concept of stock markets pretty well. Millions of people around the world invest in shares with the ultimate aim of making a quick buck. Baazaar is a film based on the share market and it plays up the idea of morals over money, or vice versa, depending on which character from the film you root for. For audiences saturated with love stories and family sagas, the edgy thrills of a crime drama like Baazaar, can offer a whole new entertainment experience. One of the highlights of the film is Saif Ali Khan’s performance. The streak of grey in his hair is just as sexy as the grey shades of the role. Even though the film has a strong hangover of Michael Douglas’ Wall Street (1987), this thriller about money, money and more money does offer a rich blend of entertainment.
The first thing to note about Baazaar is the fact that it’s a slickly made film. It is based in Mumbai and it chronicles the world of stock brokers, power brokers, businessmen, industrialists and a host of rich and powerful people. The film’s production design by Shruti Gupte captures the opulence of the setting very well. The background score by John Stewart Eduri is in perfect sync with the thriller theme, too. Director Gauravv K Chawla manages to create a gripping atmosphere for most part of the runtime.
The writing by Aseem Arora and Parveez Shaikh is good, but the writer could have avoided a few loopholes. Most of the situations in Baazaar play out identically to the events in Wall Street. The screenplay does take a while to setup the plot, but the second half of the film picks up pace and throws up a few surprises, too. Saif Ali Khan’s character is a shrewd Gujarati businessman and the little Gujarati touches in the dialogue as well as the setting are fantastic. They make the film’s Dalal Street setup look authentic. The characters are all grey and there is no inclination to whitewash the grey shades. Every character in Baazaar has its own moral compass. The narrative could have been tauter with fewer songs.
Saif Ali Khan as a suave, shrewd, but typical Gujarati guy is the best thing about the film. His twang and his good-looks create the perfect air for the character. Saif’s natural finesse adds to the role, but the actor really shines through in the many shades of grey. Debutant Rohan Mehra is pretty good too. The young actor shows ease and control in his very first performance. Radhika Apte is very good in the role of a young and competitive stock broker. Chitrangda Singh and Manish Chaudhary, in smaller roles, still make big impact.
Baazaar uses plenty of stock market jargon and showcases complex ideas like insider trading and financial manipulation with ease. It’s great to see an edgy story unfold in completely new settings in a Hindi film. The movie has a lot of hustle and power play from the world of industrialists, politicians and money brokers, and that makes for a smart investment, especially for movie buffs.
by Rachit Gupta