Rating: 1.5 out of 5
As we know, ‘Kabaddi’ is an old Indian sport and has since gained popularity in the International sports arena as the only game that requires a strong combination of ‘knowledge’, ‘concentration’, ‘strength’, ‘stamina’, and ‘combat skills’. Although, this sport has its roots in our country, there was little respite in the form of the recently concluded Pro Kabaddi League. This film is an attempt to revive the spirit of the game and rekindle the passion of the game in the hearts and minds of the people of India.
BADLAPUR BOYS is set in a village named Badlapur (in Uttar Pradesh). One of the villagers named Rampravesh Pasi (Vineeth Sharma), who is so sincere and dedicated in his efforts to build an irrigation system in his village, that he threatens self immolation before the concerned officer, if the demands are not met. Because these pleas fall on deaf ears, as per his word, Pasi immolates himself in front of the whole village, who act as mere spectators. Because of his dramatic death, he gets termed as a ‘mad person’, which then echoes on his family. Pasi’s son Vijay (Nishan), in order to support his lonely mother (Kishori Shahane) starts working as a domestic help to Ayodhya (Aman Varma). Vijay, who is extremely passionate about Kabaddi ever since his childhood, starts playing truant at work because of the game, which makes Ayodhya angry and takes a promise from him to leave the game forever. But his passion for the game doesn’t die, and he remains being an extra player in his village team and watches his friends play while he practices in solitude. During one such ‘practice session’ a renowned kabaddi coach Surajbhan Singh (Annu Kapoor) spots his talent and encourages him in the same. Because of the local team player’s egos, Vijay never finds a place in the team, despite being talented. The ‘USP’ of this team remains that they have lost almost every kabaddi match which they have played. One day, they decide to take part in the state level kabaddi championship (75th Uttar Pradesh Kabaddi Tournament), because they feel if they win ‘by fluke’ they will be able to gain the respect of all the villagers, who otherwise have always treated them like mere laughing stocks. On the D-day, one of the players doesn’t turn up for the tournament; this paves way for Vijay to take part in the same, but not before Ayodhya freeing him from the oath. On D-day, coach Surajbhan Singh who christens their team as ‘Badlapur Boys’, reasons that they can’t play at this level because of the norms and regulations and also because of their inexperience playing the handicap. Despite all these ‘rules and regulations’ an opportunity comes when the ‘Badlapur Boys’ become eligible to play the game at the state level, but that requires tweaking of the rules and bending the regulations of the game.
Do the ‘Badlapur Boys’ get to play at the state level, does the federation tweak the rules so as to accommodate the ‘Badlapur Boys’ team, does Vijay become successful in erasing his father’s ‘mad-image’and does the village get its much needed irrigation system is what which forms the rest of the film.
BADLAPUR BOYS is the directorial debut of Shailesh Verma, whose efforts look sincere in highlighting the game of kabaddi on a national level. But his inexperience as a director starts showing in the film every now and then. The film has its share of ‘less of ups and more of downs’ right from the word go. Varma, in an attempt to tell too many things within the stipulated time frame, loses the plot in the bargain. Despite having two heroines in the film, he fails to do justice to even one.
As far as the performances are concerned, the film’s hero Nishan, whose acting is strictly average (a few scenes notwithstanding), needs an immediate crash course in dancing. Even though the film has two heroines in the form of Sharanya Mohan and Puja Gupta, the sad part is that you just do not remember them and their screen presence by the end of the film. The heroines are reduced to mere props in the film. Annu Kapoor, who was last seen in a commendable role in THE SHAUKEENS, tries to do a SRK of CHAK DE! INDIA in this film, but the sad part is that he fails in his attempt. There are only a few scenes which does justice to the persona of his character. Kishori Shahane tries too hard to justify the nuances of her character. Even though she succeeds in parts, her makeup is a big letdown (especially her gray hair). Aman Varma is reasonably good, even though he doesn’t have too much of a role. The rest of the characters help in moving the film forward.
The music (Shamir Tandon and Sachin Gupta) of the film is nothing to write about except that it sounds totally outdated like the lyrics of the songs. The same applies to the choreography (Saroj Khan) as well. On the technical front, the DoP too does a very average job.
On the whole, BADLAPUR BOYS is an average film which can be avoided.