Ajay Devgn returns to direction with his latest release Bholaa after Runway 34 which released last year. Co-starring Tabu, Deepak Dobriyal in supporting roles with Sanjay Mishra and Gajraj Rao playing pivotal characters, Bholaa is a wild ride. In its major chunk, it weaves a watered down Mad Max-like road adventure with a thrilling siege drama.
Bholaa, a recently released convict finds himself embroiled in a battle between cops and the underworld through no fault of his own. Tabu, who plays Diana, a no nonsense IPS officer is the pivot on which the film rests. The actress, as always, does not miss a note. She sticks to what’s given to her. Perhaps she understands, better than anyone, what the tone of the film will be like. It is Ajay Devgn, who gets the slow motion walks with the background music. A wronged Shiv bhakt, he keeps a pouch of vibhuti, which he applies to his forehead before he takes on the ‘bad guys’.
Devgn’s direction is certainly an improvement from his last venture. Here, he is able to craft a much more thrilling narrative. It is during the set up to the siege that the film is able to grab the viewer’s attention. This is taken up by another notch in the chase sequence which, although not perfect, manages to keep you on the edge of your seat. As Bhola, Devgn choses to maintain a stoic face, which is not new to his characters. His delivery of one-liners and and conversational dialogues, do add a intriguing mystery to his character. This is an Ajay Devgn you have seen before in many films, however, that does not harm the film here.
It is Deepak Dobriyal, however, who steals the show. He plays Ashwathama, a gangster at the helm of affairs. Dobriyal lights up the screen with his performance. But this is after what can be called an uncomfortable participation in an item number. It does injustice to his character. Nevertheless, you forget it and his gait and speech seem perfectly tailored for his role. Sanjay Mishra and Gajraj Rao play crucial roles from two opposite sides of the spectrum. Mishra is meditative in his approach while Rao tunes his accent in this film to play a crooked retired officer.
There is a backstory that sees a special appearance by Amala Paul. It seems forced and dilutes the thrill. The intent here is to buttress a sequel which seems likely. Another criticism could be about how the much touted action sequence plays out. The tone is perfect, a drive through a jungle with numerous mercenary gangs baying for Bholaa’s blood and to capture Diana. It is hard not to criticize the quality of the VFX. That is not to say it is bad, however, one can easily make out that it is VFX, if you know what I mean.
Bholaa comes across as a film which had potential to be a thrilling ride, no holds barred. However, repeated digressions of emotions waters it down to “it could have been”.
Read all the Latest Movies News here