Mediocre Banjo


Genre: Musical Drama

Director: Ravi Jadhav

Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri and Dharmesh Yelande

Being screened at QFX Cinemas


Average direction, and no-so-new storyline despite its vibrating music make the latest Bollywood masala flick Banjo a mediocre watch.

It is the story of Tarat (Riteish Deshmukh) who lives in the slums. He leads a band called Banjo (named after the musical instrument banjo) with other three friends. They play banjo as a part time job in Ganapati festival and weddings, and wish to lead a successful life.

Then musician Chris (Nargis Fakhri) lands in India all the way from America in search of a banjo player. And the film tells these friends’ journey to becoming artistes.

Director Ravi Jadhav, known for Marathi film Natrang, for which he also won India’s national award, has presented a mediocre film.

His storytelling is clichéd — be it when he is introducing the characters or while showing a gorgeous foreign girl in a slum. But what is noteworthy is that Banjo has successfully portrayed the reality of Mumbai’s slums — it has

depicted hardships of people living in slums.

The first-half of the film, mostly centred around Chris’ search for banjo players, is slow. It is the light comedy and enthusiastic musical numbers that will attempt to grab your attention during the first-half.

The second-half has all the action, drama as well as musical performances.

Storywriter Krishika Lulla has penned the same old story — a journey from rags to riches, and this reminds one of  Mithun Chakraborty’s Disco Dancer.

And every time Tarat’s friends are in trouble, the hero appears in the scene, to save them from the villain — a typical hero-oriented film. Sadly, though the entire film is about Tarat, Deshmukh can’t shine in the lead role. He fails to deliver the emotions of slum artiste Tarat.

Fakhri as the NRI musician has done a decent job. She looks fabulous in all the scenes.

Dancer and choreographer Dharmesh Yelande, who has worked in dance shows for television, has shown his potential as an actor in Banjo.

In the role of Grish, one of Tarat’s bandmates, he has delivered a natural performance.

Music composers Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani have composed some good numbers — Bappa, Rada, Pee Paa Ke are enthusiastic and vibrating while Udan Choo soothes your ears.

And these songs are already a hit.  An okay watch for one time.