Banjo – Too Discordant for the masses?
Release Date: 23 September 2016
Starring: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri, Dharmesh Yelande, Mohan Kapoor, Rita Powers and Shruthi Mathur
Directed by: Ravi Jadhav
Produced by: Krishika Lulla
Story: Kapil Sawant, Nikhil Mehrotra & Ravi Jadhav
Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
Duration: 2 hr 17 min
Genre: Action, Drama, Musical
Censor Rating: U/A
About Movie Banjo
Banjo is a Bollywood musical drama, starring Riteish Deshmukh and Nargis Fakhri in the lead roles. The flick marks the Hindi debut of renowned Marathi director Ravi Jadhav, who’s already directed popular flicks like Natarang, Timepass, Balak-Palak and many others. The movie reveals the deterioration of ‘Banjo’ – the musical intrument, in the current day. Set in Mumbai, the financial hub of India, Banjo is about the enthusiastic Banjo players – or the ‘Banjo Party’ – which plays during the festive season and is later forgotten for the remaining portion of the year. The movie has Riteish portraying the character of a banjo player and Nargis Fakhri as the DJ.
Banjo revolves around a group of Banjo players – led by Taraat (played by Riteish Deshmukh) – who catch the fancy of a newbie American DJ, Chris (played by Nargis Fakhri). In a bid to take Taraat and his team’s music international, Chris travels to Mumbai from New York to search for the ‘party’. Would the underprivileged musicians be able to meet up to Chris’ expectations is what forms the crux of the film.
Starting off with Banjo’s lead actor Riteish Deshmukh, well, he’s been unconvincing in the role of a shaggy musician with unwashed, or unkempt hair. While he’s acted okay in the comic sequences, the romantic instances seem to make him uncomfortable. But, to put it simply, it’s just Riteish’s mediocre performance that has surprisingly saved the ship from sinking. The film has so many narrative and performance flaws, that we will have to come up with a follow-up write-up on that.
Then there is Banjo’s leading lady Nargis Fakhri, who, after giving a special appearance in Dishoom hasn’t been able to furbish her Hindi in Banjo. This is perhaps the only obstacle in the route to her success. The other actors in the movie, including Taraat’s friends, played by Dharmesh Yelande, Aditya Kumar and Ram Menon have also delivered okay performances.
Revolving around the fate of Banjo players, Banjo has an excellent music album composed by talented duo Vishal-Shekhar. The opening track “Bappa” has beautiful tones of Banjo accompanied by drums and electric guitar. Superb vocals by Vishal Dadlani boost the energy level of this Ganpati song.
Next track in-line is “Udan Choo” which is a soft, romantic number with intense vocals by Hriday Gattani. This song has all the elements of an elegant Vishal-Shekhar composition and will stay in the minds of music lovers for a very long time.
Then there is “Rada” which is an upbeat number crooned by talented artists including Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade and Nakash Aziz. Backed by catchy lyrics and hardcore beats, the song is sure to become a favourite among youngsters.
The song “Pee Paa Ke” is an addition that could have been easily avoided for the music album of Banjo. Marking the collaboration of Vishal Dadlani and Nakash Aziz, the track fails to leave a positive impact on the listeners.
“Rehmo Karam” is yet another slow-paced track in Banjo. However, this emotional number has been beautifully sung by the very talented Ajay Gogavale.
The final track from the music album of Banjo is “Om Ganpataye Namaha Deva”. It has devotional lyrics and includes an English rap by Vishal Dadlani. It is a song full of lot of energy and enthusiasm.
Details of songs in the movie
Singer(s): Vishal Dadlani
2. “Udan Choo”
Singer(s): Hriday Gattani
Singer(s): Vishal Dadlani, Shalmali Kholgade & Nakash Aziz
4. “Pee Paa Ke”
Singer(s): Vishal Dadlani & Nakash Aziz
5. “Rehmo Karam”
Singer(s): Ajay Gogavale
6. “Om Ganapataye Namaha Deva”
Singer(s): Vishal Dadlani & Nakash Aziz
Fresh direction and gripping music are the two major upsides of Banjo.
A weak script, many poorly acted, lacklustre scenes, and multiple sub-plots make Banjo boring and repetitive.
Frankly, the film will leave you a little exhausted. While the leads, Reteish Deshmukh and Nargis Fakhri give lacklustre performances, it is highly likely for the audience to grow fond of the director’s portrayal of the lost legacy of Banjo, if only for a bit.
Banjo Rating **
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