Benny and Babloo – Review
Posted by Editor on October 4, 2010 | No Comments
Film – Benny and Babloo
Producer – Umesh Chauhan
Director – Yunus Sajawal
Writer – Yunus Sajawal
Actors – Kay Kay Menon, Rajpal Yadav, Riya Sen, Shweta Tiwari, Natassa, Richa Chaddha, Rukhsar, Hiten Paintal
Music – Amjad Nadeem
Mumbai, as any other commercial capital of the world has that unique distinction of dual personality. A parallel reality joined at birth but separated as time went. Mumbai is indentified with the extremes of its classes living side by side, within breathing distance, yet symbolising worlds that are worlds apart. Yet, these worlds are wrought with the same desires, quests and the expression. They are caught in the same web of corruption, coloured differently only by the colour of money. It is this distinction and sameness that Benny and Babloo sets out to draw.
Benny (Kay Kay Menon) is a south-Indian import and Babloo (Rajpal Yadav) a North (rather North-west) Indian import to Mumbai on lookout for work. They are symbols of a more straight-forward and simpler social reality whose rules are dictated by the respect for human beings. One gets a job as a bellboy in a five star luxury hotel and the other as a waiter in a ladies bar. Overnight their realities become juxtaposed with two realities, the picture of co-existing identity of Mumbai. Slowly, they learn that class, stature and money do not signify dignity and poverty need not be without self-respect.
Benny and Babloo, is a type of social film, in a somewhat satirical comic tone taking up cudgels for the bar dancers and launching a vitriolic attack on the hypocrisy of the high society. It does not leave the middle class alone either in its expose of modern-day urban living. It is clearly biased in its approach and proudly carries this bias in detailing somewhat known and argued facts and dissonances of the society we live in. To that end, the exercise seems clichéd but the heart with which the makers argue gives the film its conviction.
But this is about the intent that clearly comes through. Laudable. Sadly, this intent fails to transform cinematically to a gut-wrenching, moving experience inspiring one to think again. Something that the film is so keen to do. The entire exercise fails to engage, leave alone impress.
The film takes the two central protagonists as the eye of the camera through which he unveils these realities, in a bid to present the skewed-ness of what we have learnt to accept as regular without questioning. But the narrative drags and the language is staid, outlined with a naive immaturity that can only be termed as bad film-making. Kay Kay Menon and Rajpal Yadav try hard to invest heart and conviction into the film but remain limited within the constraints of poor execution of a monocled vision. The rest of the cast, with Shweta Tiwari, Riya Sen, Richa Chaddha, Rukhsar, Natassa and others fall in between trying their best or not living upto the limited promise of the script.