Bamfaad Movie Review: Bamfaad has a pretty familiar plot, a vicious love triangle that you have seen in quite a few Bollywood movies, that range from Ramesh Talwar's Sahibaan to Vishal Bharadwaj's Rangoon. What makes the movie worth an engrossing watch is the unfamiliar turns that Bamfaad's main characters take in the course of the movie. Streaming now on Zee5, Bamfaad, directed by Ranjan Chandel, marks the acting debut of actor Paresh Rawal's son Aditya, while also being the first Bollywood film as a lead for Telugu actress Shalini Pandey. Exclusive: Bamfaad Actor Aditya Rawal Wants to Star in These Acclaimed Movies of His Father Paresh Rawal If They Got Remade.
Nasir Jamal (Aditya Rawal) is the unruly son of a Muslim political heavyweight in Allahabad. An altercation with a wannabe student leader in his college had already put him on the crossroads with Jigar Fareedi (Vijay Varma), another political heavyweight in his town. In the meantime, he meets and falls for Neelam (Shalini Pandey) a feisty girl who stays above a sleazy video shop that he frequents.
For Nasir, Neelam is someone who challenges the man in him. She seems to fill in his imperfections. Like, he always desires to use his father's rifle but has poor aim, but she can hit the target that he misses (something that the movie subtly uses in the climax). She thinks he wants her for her body, like the men she met; he just wants her affections.
What Nasir doesn't like though is that there is already someone who has stakes to Neelam over him, and that happens to be Jigar. Both lock horns over marking their territory which in this case, happens to be the girl one think he owns and the other wants for himself, leading to betrayal, murder and some tragic consequences. Exclusive: Bamfaad Actor Aditya Rawal Talks About Making His Debut Amid Lockdown, Father Paresh Rawal's Guidance, And, of Course, Nepotism.
The characters in Bamfaad feel straight out of an Anurag Kashyap film (he is presenting the film), so you can just find various shades of grey in many of them. The hero is brash and arrogant and threatens to be a Kabir Singh kind of boyfriend, before he pulls himself back. Which is kinda ironic since his love is played by the actress whose most popular role is Arjun Reddy, the movie that inspired Kabir Singh.
Speaking of his love, Neelam is a fascinating character too. She is both torn between two men in her life, and is also needing both for her needs. If Jigar fulfils her comforts (or so, she wants to believe), then Nasir is needed to fill the emptiness in her heart. The couple of time she breaks out of her zone is to safeguard the man she loves, and it is her feistiness that makes her character have some depth rather than being the prized possession that the two men are fighting for.
Then there is Jigar, who, unlike the villains you have seen till now, doesn't want to take the first aggressive step. When Nasir comes at his door challenging his power, he doesn't think much of this new foe other than a dog that's barking incessantly. Even when the events becomes messier, Jigar is thinking about self-survival first than his hurt ego. At one point, he has Nasir under his hold, and the first thing he tells him is to go and take care of his surviving family. His final action involving the fates of Nasir and Neelam may come out befuddling to many, but going by his previous traits, I won't say I was surprised.
Watch the Trailer of Bamfaad:
We also have Zahid (Jatin Sarna), Nasir's duplicitous friend, whose over-exuberance in carrying out a mission (and turning it into a mess) makes more sense in the final act, when we realise his treachery is guided by a sense of betrayal and possession. The engaging arcs of these characters are what makes Bamfaad a decent watch, even if it prods along the predictable pattern.
Director Ranjan Chandel does an efficient of delivering a evenly-paced saga that doesn't keep you bored. At times, there is a tendency to add things just to keep Bamfaad more relevant in the current milieu. Like, a cop character mentions 'love jihad' that sticks out like a sore thumb in the movie. Speaking of the milieu, I am also confused as to in which period Bamfaad is set. For one, there is minimal use of cellphones in the film. In a scene, Nasir compares Neelam to the late Divya Bharati (though the English subtitles changed it to 'Alia Bhatt'). Another scene has a character mock his friend by asking if he thinks he is Atal Bihari Vajpayee (and the subtitles just change it to 'Prime Minister'). The background score is good, especially in the final portions, where it goes into a more powerful crescendo.
In his debut film, Aditya Rawal is more than decent enough as the brash protagonist stripped off his privileges when the tide turns. There is rawness in his act and unconventionality in his looks, both traits fitting well with what we expect from someone like Nasir.
Shalini Pandey is too good as the girl, who makes us believe she drives the cart even if the reins are in the hands of the men she loves. Even though I has seen her mostly in Telugu and Tamil films, Shalini easily fits herself in the rough texture of UP.
Vijay Varma continues to deliver another knockout act as the chief tormentor. I wished that the movie was clearer on his character's feelings towards Neelam, that could have made his final act feel more sensible. But the actor's magnetic performance works its way around the rough edges of his character. Jatin Sarna is pretty convincing as the Judas of Nasir's life, deftly switching from a seemingly-harmless pigeon trainer to a conniving criminal.
- The Performances
- Short and Gripping
- Raw at Occasions
- Familiar Plotline
Watch Bamfaad for Aditya Rawal's intense debut, with good turns from Shalini Pandey, Vijay Varma and Jatin Sarna. This violent love story may traverse through familiar terrains, and yet the unpredictability of its characters make it a gripping watch. Bamfaad is streaming on Zee5.