Review: Bandobast

Review: Bandobast

Suriya has been quite bombastic about 'Bandobast'. As per him, it's a layered film telling many sub-plots.  The ensemble cast and the trailer did convince us to take his words at face value.  But does the film deliver goods?  Is it a smart film or a bloated one?  Can the film impress the Telugu audience, given its Tamil nativity?  Here we tell you in the detailed review.

Story:

Suriya plays an SPG commando who is in charge of anti-terror operations and also is the sharpest officer protecting Chandrakanth Varma (Mohanlal), India's Prime Minister.

A major security breach results in the assassination of Varma, leaving the hero stunned.  The security machinery suspects the hand of Pakistan-backed terror groups in Kashmir.  

Even as the country gets a new PM, the hero takes it upon himself to unravel the mystery behind Varma's shocking assassination.  A complex web involving a rich industrialist (Boman Irani), a double agent and a few others is narrated in the second half.  

Performances:

Suriya delivers a razor-sharp performance as a dutiful SPG commando who goes rogue.  His disguises, his demeanour add grace to the proceedings.  Mollywood star and Complete Actor Mohanlal is excellent.  

From Arya to Sayyesha Saigal and Boman Irani, they prove to be the right choices for their roles.  Samuthirakani, who is currently doing Rajamouli's 'RRR', is very good in the role of a brave security officer.  

Technical Departments:

Harris Jayaraj's songs come as a disappointment.  They are largely noisy but for the 'Enno Thaarala Sangamam' song.  His BGM is impressive in most of the segments.  MS Prabhu's cinematography is top-notch in some segments.  

The selection of locations and the high production values add to the film's beauty.  Lyca Productions, which has '2.0' to its credit, makes this one a visual experience.  

What Works:

The storyline might work for those who love political thrillers.  

The suspenseful narration ticks, although not very consistently.

The action sequences are neat but don't expect high-octane moments.

Some of the dialogues are smart.

What Fails:

Director KV Anand builds a circus around the Prime Minister of India.  There is no semblance of believability when security breach happens every often.

Only Suriya's character seems to be involved in protecting the country from the monstrosity of the villain.  The new PM (we are not revealing which character it is) is a clueless dumbo relying only on one person for advice.

The songs are a distraction.

The track involving Sayyeshaa Saigal can test your patience.

Tamil films ('Bandobast' is the dubbed version of 'Kaappaan') have this tendency to show serious situations as comic situations.  Here, the PM of India actually walks on the street in a drunken state, pining for fun!

The screenplay is confusing in the second half.

Those one-man-army fights by Suriya look silly after a point.

Overall Analysis:

'Bandobast' goes for a toss after setting up the premise.  Too many creative liberties and loose ends take a toll.  This one can't be one of those Singham-type hits for Suriya.  The writer-director should have taken greater care in narrating the complex, layered story.