Banjo: Riteish's Solo-Hero Outing Fizzle!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Ravi Jadhav's Bollywood directorial debut Banjo fails to enthuse the audience full scale. Riteish Deshmukh tries hard to hold on solely till the end to give his audience a fair deal but succumbs to poor story line, haphazard sequences, and a misfit heroine (Nargis Fakhri) who fails to complement his acting skills. Banjo had all the potential to be a fabulous musical treat laced with the story of a bunch of street musicians who make to the world stage with original and credible music due to sheer grit, commitment, passion and focus. It could have been truly motivational and an inspiring story about a girl who travels from New York to cherry pick some raw talents to polish them into gems to present to the world. It could have showcased the power of music that can bind the world together irrespective of its color, creed, religion, and culture. Well, it's unfortunate to say that Banjo that evoked high expectations through its trailers and posters fails to fulfill what it promised. It terribly missed an opportunity.
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Banjo is about four slum dwellers: Taraat (Riteish Deshmukh) is an extortionist under the aegis of a corporator, Grease (Dharmesh Yelande) is a car mechanic, Paper (Aditya Kumar) is a paperboy, and Vajaya (Ram Menon, accompanies his father to small musical shows). These four friends apart from their trade to earn a living they also bond together on music as a ragtag band who play at different festive events organized by individuals and local slum committees. In one such event they are heard by a sound recordist Mikey (Luke Kenny). Mikey impressed by their talent sends the glimpses of the show to his dear friend Christina (Nargis Fakhri) in New York. Christina an Indian American musician is highly fascinated by their music and decides to come to India to make two music tracks to participate in an upcoming international music competition.
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The film is botched due to unwanted subplots, builder-corporator nexus, extortion, Pseudo NGOisms and poorly portraying slum dwellers as women oglers. Banjo's lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya and music by Vishal-Shekhar are the only relief we get as audience. But then it is better to watch its music videos on YouTube or on Television rather than spending your money in a theatre. As the lead protagonish Taraat says repeatedly in the film - "Zindagi mai do choices hoti hai...", I would also like to quote that Banjo gives us two choices : One, to watch and forget it forever and two, not to watch it. Go for your choice, it's a free world.
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 1.5/5
Cast: Riteish Deshmukh (Taraat), Nargis Fakhri (Christina), Darmesh Yelande (Grease), Aditya Kumar (Paper), Ram Menon (Vajaya), Luke Kenny (Mikey)
Genre: Musical Drama
Director: Ravi Jadhav
Producer: Krishika Lulla
Written by: Kapil Sawant, Nikhil Mehrotra, Ravi Jadhav
Music by: Vishal-Shekhar
Production Company: Eros International
Distributor: Eros International
Release Date: 23rd September, 2016
Duration: 138 Minutes