Hero Suriya and director KV Anand who both lost their sheen with consecutive flops have teamed up for Bandobast which has ensemble cast such as Mohanlal, Sayyeshaa Saigal and Arya. Will this high budged film provide much needed break for the hero and the director?
Special Protection Group (SPG) officer Ravi (Suriya) who previously was a farmer is now leading the team looks after and protects Prime Minister Chandrakanth Varma (Mohanlal). In a massive bomb blast in Kashmir after a meeting is concluded, PM is killed. Now, his son Abhishek (Arya) who doesn’t want to take any responsibilities and wants to enjoy life to the fullest is forcibly made PM. Again, Ravi who failed to save the PM is appointed as SPG officer. In the shootout to save the new PM from terrorists, Ravi comes to know the real culprits behind the assassination of former PM. Who are they? Why they killed Chandrakanth? Why they have targeted Abhishek now? Does Ravi’s girlfriend Anjali (Sayyeshaa) has any connections with the terrorists group?
KV Anand once made mind-blowing films. But, as the count of his films is increasing, he is increasing budgets rather than quality of scripts. Bandobast is one such mind-numbing film with vague plot that is lengthened to nearly 3 hours. There’s a bug of an idea in the story that had potential bio war which is high end thinking from KV. But he buried it in a desperate attempt to make the film entertaining. MS Prabhu and Abinandhan Ramanujam’s camera work was top notch. Then songs are not up to the mark and Harris Jayraj makes us sleep with his soothing background score. Apparently, Editor Anthony had no clue, what to trim, so he had cut the film to nearly 3 hours. Production values of Lyca Productions are at usual best.
Onto performances, Suriya carries the whole film on his shoulders. While he looked stylish and lively as SPG officer, he didn’t appear convincing as a farmer. Mohanlal gives a pleasant mature presence through his character. But the poor writing and sloppy research lets down both actors. Arya’s clueless acting was also the result of poor character designing. Sayyesha looked pretty but she wasn’t given much space and importance. Samuthirakhani was bearable. A senior and talented actor like Bomani Irani was wasted completely and Chirag Jani was okay.
Few Portions In First Half
The concept of the plight of farmers and corporate greed, we have seen in many recent films, including Mahesh Babu’s last two films Bharat Ane Nenu and Maharshi is touched here too. A strong and convincing narration would at least have saved the audience. But, KV Anand with his indistinct thoughts killed the interest as the movie progresses.
First half begins with a feebly executed hero introduction scene, where Suriya is air-dropped onto a moving train and plants a series of bombs on it. Before the bomb explodes, he after a fight plunges into a river. Then, we are taken to a few months back, to give a clear picture on what led Suriya to perform this risky stunt. Couple of terrorist attacks and Suriya saving PM is destined to tell there’s a threat to PM. The slow paced narration turns extra boring with magic less romance between Suriya and Sayyeshaa. The double meaning dialogues fail generate any fun. Film heads to intermission with another terrorist attack on PM in Kashmir who is now dead.
Second half too begins on dull note with the story juggling between the political scenario in the country and the corporate war on farmers. Vague thoughts and inane circumstances will only test our patience. How can a PM, even though he is very playful, comes out like a commoner and dance in a party? What’s more, the SPG officer Suriya even slaps him for being so irresponsible. After unnecessary drama, the film ends with an ineffective climax.
All in all, Bandobast is not the kind of film we expect from the combination of KV Anand, Suriya, Mohanlal and Arya. Although visuals looked grand and rich, lack of potential content and sloppy direction played spoilsport. Suriya’s all efforts go in vain. CJ goes with 2.25 stars and the film hardly has any chances to give a fight to Varun Tej’s Valmiki.