Baazaar Review: Saif Ali Khan makes the film shine!

Saif Ali Khan, who has been having a poor run at the box office, shows you once again that he is a better actor than many of his “superstar” contemporaries...

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Film: Baazaar (Drama-Thriller)

Critic's Rating: 3 / 5

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Chitrangda Singh, Radhika Apte, Rohan Mehra

Direction: Gauravv K Chawla

Written by: Parveez Sheikh and Aseem Arora

Duration: 2 hours 17 minutes

Language: Hindi (U/A)


Rizwan Ahmed (Rohan Mehra), an Allahabad-based share consultant idolises Mumbai business magnate Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan). Aspiring to work with his ‘guru’, he heads to the city of dreams. And before he knows it, he’s sucked into the manipulation and machination of the money game.


Debutant director Gauravv K Chawla gives this film the feel of a thriller from the start. The opening frame of a young man standing perilously on the ledge of a high-rise in Mumbai and looking down at what could be a ‘dangerous’ end, makes you uncomfortable. But Rizwan is not about to jump. You heave a sigh of relief when he starts recounting his backstory; the reason why he landed on the ledge in the first place. The narrative of the green-horn, who has just begun his struggle in the stock market, is imaginatively interspersed with that of the cool, suave, grey Shakun Kothari piling up his billions through orthodox and unorthodox ways. 

For the most part, the screenplay by Parveez Sheikh and Aseem Arora is engaging. But everyone at work here is clearly inspired by Oliver Stone’s The Wall Street (1987), revolving around Michael Douglas’ wealthy unscrupulous corporate raider Gordon Gekko and Charlie Sheen’s young stockbroker Bud Fox, as they borrow a few situations from the Hollywood film. While the build-up is a little leisurely in the first half, the second half makes up by offering a few twists and turns. The scene where SEBI  (Securities and Exchange Board of India) officials led by Rana Dasgupta (Manish Chaudhary) raid Shakun’s office is a fine example. The share bazaar language is sharp but has been used in a way that it can be understood even by those who are used to a common parlance. 

If only the soundtrack was better, you wouldn’t mind the song sequences. Save for Kem Chho (Tanishk Bagchi) and the wedding number Adhura Lafz (Sohail Sen) — the songs slow the narrative’s pace. 

Saif Ali Khan, who has been having a poor run at the box office, shows you once again that he is a better actor than many of his “superstar” contemporaries. He is flawless as the cool, calculating, unforgiving Shakun Kothari. The actor has picked up teeny-weeny nuances of his rich businessmen friends and brought it here. He is a treat to watch. The streak of grey in his hair adds a certain intrigue and class to his character.

Rohan Mehra makes an impressive debut. However, he is rough around the edges and would need more polishing if he has to stand up to stalwarts. Radhika Apte is good as his senior colleague Priya Rai. Chitrangda Singh lends due support as Shakun’s wife Mandira Parekh-Kothari. 

Cinematographer Swapnil S Sonawane has kept the tone glossy. The bylanes and tall monstrosities in the concrete jungle called Mumbai have been captured effectively enough. John Stewart Eduri’s background score heightens the drama. 

On the flip side, the film hits an emotional plateau. It fails to make you feel deeply for its characters. You wish you had a tear for at least one of them. Had that happened, Baazaar would be considered a much better investment.


If powerplay and money matters interest you, watch Baazaar

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