Okay, we all know that the Yashraj magic is on the wane. Their tried and tested formula of films with a crowd-pulling star, scenic beauty of foreign locales, mushy melodrama of desi TV soaps and a pretty heroine in an obligatory bikini scene to boot, is all but passé. However, the banner deserves to be lauded for giving breaks to newcomers, not just in front of the camera but behind it as well.
Set in 1994 when the Indian economy was just opening up for the world, the film tells the story of an overambitious guy named Karan (Shahid Kapoor) who wants to become rich quick. He starts off as a fledgling carrier for a smuggler but soon grows his own wings and, along with three other wannabes (Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang and Vir Das) starts a company that imports goodies from abroad, bypasses the customs department and makes profits thick and fast. In short they do the wrong things the right way.
Riding on the big idea, the four scamsters become rich and soon target the foreign shores, conning the business honchos from Bangkok to Manhattan. But their spiralling rise is cut short. Money spoils, indeed. In his endless pursuit of riches, Karan puts his relationship with Bulbul (Anushka) on the sidelines. Zing (Meiyang) takes to drinking, while an oversexed Chandu (Vir Das) becomes a womanizer. The Badmaash Company breaks up. It’s time for soul searching for each one of the quartet. And when they come back, having learnt life’s lessons the tough way, they put their skills to good use.
The trouble with ‘Badmaash Company’ is that the cons are repeated almost similarly throughout the film. The foursome starts off smuggling sneakers. Later they adopt the same modus operandi in smuggling gloves. And in the end it’s shirts. Even Parmeet Sethi’s attempt to inject melodrama into the proceedings doesn’t pay off. The sequences about Anupam Kher getting an award, or Shahid learning of Anushka’s pregnancy are soppy to say the least. What works, however, in the film is the pace at which Parmeet Sethi unravels the plot. The first half zaps past briskly, but the second half is a tad slack.
Shahid Kapoor plays his part well and shines in the second half. Anushka Sharma looks gorgeous but has miles to go in terms of acting. Meiyang Chang adds buoyancy to the film while Vir Das leaves a lot to be desired.
The film’s music is good and cinematography excellent. Parmeet Sethi shows the potential of being a good director but is let down by his own script and its execution which is too repetitive to keep you hooked. Still, ‘Badmaash Company’ has its entertaining moments.