‘BABLI BOUNCER’ REVIEW | 23 September, 2022

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Star Studios and Junglee Pictures’ Babli Bouncer is the story of a female bouncer. Babli Tanwar (Tamannah Bhatia) lives in Haryana with her parents — pehelwan-father Gajanan (Saurabh Shukla) and mother Ganga (Supriya Shukla) — and a little brother, Golu (Khabir Mehta). She has learnt body-building from her father and becomes a bouncer in a night club in Delhi. Besides the fact that she does not want to get married just as yet, another reason for her going to Delhi is that she can be close to Viraj Kaushik (Abhishek Bajaj), son of her teacher (Yamini Das). Viraj works in Delhi. While Viraj considers Babli a fun friend, Babli loves Viraj. Since Babli’s mother is traditional in her thinking, Babli uses Kukku (Sahil Vaid) to convince her parents to allow her to become a bouncer in Delhi. Kukku, a bouncer himself, is in love with Babli, and Babli’s parents also approve of him as her prospective husband.

In Delhi, Viraj rejects Babli’s advances and calls her uncouth. Babli is heartbroken. Kukku is crestfallen when Babli tells him that she doesn’t love him (Kukku) and, therefore, can’t marry him. What happens thereafter?

Amit Joshi, Aradhana Sah and Madhur Bhandarkar have penned a story which offers nothing by way of novelty except that a female protagonist is shown as a bouncer — a predominantly male profession. The love story goes through the predictable routine of love, rejection, heartbreak, etc. The trio’s screenplay is so clichéd that nothing comes as a surprise or shock. It also has defects. For instance, Babli hates it when Viraj tells her that he can’t marry her because she is uncouth and not up to his standards. But after a few days, Babli herself tells Kukku that she can’t marry him because she does not love him in that sense. Yes, she doesn’t call Kukku uncouth, but the fact remains that she has also broken Kukku’s heart — much like Viraj had broken her heart. What’s worse is that Babli had led Kukku into believing that she loved him, by using him to convince her parents to send her to Delhi. In another scene, Babli actually tries to justify her habit of burping loudly, one of the reasons why Viraj had rejected her. She seems to be unaware of something called etiquettes. Babli’s professional life also moves on the predictable path. As a result, the drama unfolds in a manner that it hardly engages the viewer. The first half is slow and boring. The pace picks up a bit after interval but matters don’t improve even then. Dialogues by Amit Joshi and Aradhana Sah, with additional dialogues by Sumit Ghildiyal, are ordinary.

Tamannah Bhatia does an ordinary job in the title role. Abhishek Bajaj has an endearing personality and performs in a pretty natural style. He particularly does the act of feeling awkward very well. Sahil Vaid is alright as Kukku but he is relegated to the sidelines as there’s not much for him to do in a drama which is dominated by Babli. Saurabh Shukla and Supriya Shukla have almost been wasted. Yamini Das also gets very limited scope. Priyam Saha has her moments as Babli’s friend, Pinky. Sabyasachi Chakraborty (as Saurabh Dutta), Upasna Singh (as Dolly Chaddha), Ashwini Kalsekar (as Bobby Didi), Saanand Verma (as Jaggi Sardar), Rajesh Khera (as the police officer), Karan Chhabra (in a guest appearance as chemist Mannu), Sushil Parashar (as the sarpanch), Pulkit Saini (as Chhotu), Anushka Lohar (as Natasha), Aashay Shastri (as Romi), Ojasvi Sharma (as Neena), Tushar Dhembla (as Puneet), Rakeeb Khan (as Bunty), Arafat Iliyas (as Guddu), Atul Singh (as Sameer), Bajrang Sahani (as Vicky), Khushboo Vaidya (as Monika), Rishika (as Tara), Alok Kumar (as Deepu), Mukesh Tyagi (as Tyagi ji) and the others lend decent support.

Madhur Bhandarkar’s direction is routine. The narration of the ordinary and predictable story is so flat that the drama has no high points — neither in content nor in presentation. Music (Tanishk Bagchi and Karan Malhotra) is so-so. The ‘Le Sajna’ song (composed and penned by Tanishk Bagchi) is the best number. Lyrics (Tanishk Bagchi, Shabbir Ahmed and Manaswi Mohata) are fair. Vijay Ganguly’s choreography is functional. Anurag Saikia’s background music doesn’t add much to the drama. Himman Dhamija’s cinematography is quite nice. Vikram Dahiya’s action and stunt scenes are quite well choreographed. Priya Suhas’ production designing and Vijay Ghodke’s art direction are okay. Manish Pradhan’s editing should’ve been sharper.

On the whole, Babli Bouncer is a very ordinary film which will not find too many takers.

Released on 23-9-’22 on Disney+ Hotstar.