From a generation’s point of view that has heard the stories and scavenged around for the DVDs of the original “Angry Young Man”, Amitabh Bachchan was and is always regarded with respect as an actor several classes above the rest, acting royalty even if you will. But in his latest venture directed by Puri Jagganath, that iconic character played by Big B is back on the big screen, unperturbed and angry as ever, if only with a touch of grey. Does he pull it off and re-instate his ferocious reign? Will the director that wrote the smash hit Pokiri which was remade twice, once in Tamil with the same name and then as Wanted in Hindi, be able to make his mark on the Hindi audience? Read on to find out.
To begin with we see the streets of Mumbai, busy and bustling with people. The dark cloud over the compact but fair city is Kabir Bhai [Prakashraj], a don that works his underworld web from Dubai. A contract killer, his contacts and clients sit in highly political and high up seats in Delhi. His latest planned bombing however, gets him aggravates the keen eye of ACP Karan Malhotra [Sonu Sood], who’s determined to keep the streets safe and mafia-free. Already unhappy with the ACP, Kabir willing to give in and looks for a hit man to get rid of his headache. But when his men drop like flies and two important members of his gang get arrested, Kabir realises he needs no ordinary man. He needs the baap of all hit men. Enter Vijju [Amitabh Bachchan]. Suave, cool and utterly unorthodox, he dares, does and walks away smiling what most can only think about. Vijju is a man on a killer mission but while focus maybe on what his going to do, the questions will rise on who he really is.
My oh my how do I begin. Let’s just say Amitabh Bachchan isn’t called Big B for just his height. The almost 70 year old [okay so he’s 68] is nothing short of King Size on screen. Clearly aimed at the fans of that infamous Angry Young Man character desperately want to see him back in theatre halls, he brings the whole kit and caboodle and showcases to all why the craze started. Even when a fine actor like Sonu Sood is on screen with his fair share of depth and space, Amitabh looks amazing and dominates like nobody’s business. On his part, Sonu is sincere and honest, with not even an iota of his previous bad guy roles coming to the foreground. Prakashraj is definitely the baddest bad guy on the block in the film but it is great to see him bring out the funnies as well. Hema Malini is elegant as always, although a tad on the rhona-dhona side. Sonal Chauhan is confidant while Charmee Kaur is bubbly and infectious. Raveena Tandon adds in some overdue quirkiness and so does Makrand Deshpande and Subbaraju for their small roles. The actress that plays the nosy landlord and the actor that plays Sonal’s father definitely give you the giggles although they seem like add ons.
Music by Vishal-Shekhar is topping the charts as it is and works extremely well on screen too. The title track BHTB in acapella has been cleverly inserted at regular intervals and is sure to be on your lips as you walk out of the theatres. Editing by Shekar is crisp while the cinematography by Amol Rathod is top notch, staying in sync with the story and surroundings. But now to the main man behind the camera, Puri Jagganath. Masala films are not new to the established director from the south but when you’re catering for a different language and type of audience, there are still chances to fail. However, Puri has made a cohesive script with a some great dialogue to carry the film forward. The story itself may not boast of originality or depth but it sustains interest and is woven in such a way that you don’t immediately notice the flaws. And yes, they are there. As stated Amitabh is all over this film but it does seem that at one point no one else is visible. While it may be a treat to see the actor sparkle, it would also have been nice to have a proper ending to the Raveena-Charmee-Big B track and for that matter a little more support from the supporting cast. Add in the logic factor that flutters haphazardly like the sequencing and some may feel there is little substance to the film. Yet BHTB’s biggest plus point is that this is not supposed to be an intellectual fair and it doesn’t claim to be one. It is a complete and unabashed masala roller-coaster ride, out to do one thing. Entertain. And that it does very well.
BHTB is a chance for Amitabh Bachchan to prove to the younger generation how he did it once and, also how he can still do it again.