When I first heard of Hollywood hit Knight and Day (2010) being officially adapted in Hindi as “Bang Bang” I just sighed in semi disbelief. In my opinion Knight and Day was a rather ordinary Hollywood entertainer, which only worked due to the lovely lead pair comprising of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Well to be honest their Indian counterparts, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif seemed to be perfect choices to carry on the same roles in Hindi, but I was wondering why a studio like Fox Star had to not just look at shelling out money to buy the remake rights, but also want to invest mega bucks in a film which has no novelty as such. Adding to the gloomy scenario was the fact that the film was to be directed by Siddharth Anand, someone who has had moderate success making romantic films (Salaam Namaste, Tara Rum Pum, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Anjaana Anjaani). Considering this was to be an action film I was wondering why the studio would entrust the film to a director who’s never dabbled with the genre earlier.
But then I thought maybe Siddharth Anand wanted to probably try something new for a change and he was anyways being assisted by writers like Sujoy Ghosh and Suresh Nair for screenplay and Abbas Tyrewala for dialogues. This gave me the impression that maybe; just maybe Bang Bang could in all probability go on to be a paisa vasool entertainer, one that the public might appreciate largely as a festival entertainer. Turns out that I was merely into wishful thinking and here’s why the film doesn’t really turn out to be pleasing by and large.
- First things first, there’s nothing in borrowing the basic premise from another successful film, and here by openly purchasing the remake rights and showing that it is an official remake (of Knight and Day) the producers are only adding to the growing list of Indian producers and projects which are trying to move out of the age old custom of unauthorized adaptations. But while I admire this aspect I can’t but help asking Fox Star Studios and Siddharth Anand as to what is it that inspired them in the first place to choose such a source material for an Indian adaptation.
- Ok so you have replaced Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz with Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif respectively, so that’s a job well done and I’m being serious while saying so. One couldn’t have asked for a better pair by all means to step in place of the Hollywood pair. But would you just sit back and relax after this casting saying that there’s nothing more to do? Because that’s what one can feel after watching the film which is simply just an eye candy visual treat on account of the lead pair and nothing else.
- Ok so the attempt was to show grand locales, breath-taking action and overall give the film an international look and feel right? Fair enough and I’d say that the mission has been partially successful. But considering it’s an action film I must say that apart from the Shimla fight scene early on (which starts in the open air restaurant) and the stunts on water, there wasn’t anything special about the action scenes. The so called Formula 1 car chase portion was unnecessary and did not serve for the desired wow factor that was intended. What is strange is that the film reportedly had a budget to enable something way better than what is seen in the film, sadly there are Indian films with far lower budgets which have featured much better action pieces in recent times- case of opportunity missed?
- The film has fantastic actors like Danny Denzongpa who plays the main antagonist and Vikram Gokhale as the ISS chief but they get to be just glorified extras in the film, why o why? It would be interesting to know what even prompted Danny and Vikram Gokhale to be a part of the film, apart from the money perhaps.
- For all the well-known names associated with the writing process is this the best plot that they could have come up with it? Considering the end product I’d say that even a frame to frame remake of Knight and Day would have looked better than what we get to see now in the form of an official remake.
- True we are talking of a big budget commercial entertainer and such films are just meant to entertain, so as long as the masses are happy we are happy too is what the team Bang Bang seems to be telling people critical of the film. I get the point loud and clear and yes I don’t even think anyone was expecting an intellectual exercise while watching Bang Bang. But while on entertainment are we saying that an entertainer should lack a cohesive script or that it should not have an interesting plot to begin with?
- Oh! And if the idea is to offset P&A costs as far as possible with in film branding, then do it but do it subtly. Don’t do it in a way that it overpowers the rest of the elements in the scene & making us only focus on the brand in question. After all the audience is there to watch the film and not the brand,
- There is no point in talking about loopholes in the film’s plot or the kind of silliness that crops up in the film at various portions. When the makers don’t even know where and how a bank receptionist would be seated at during working hours, you can understand the kind of detailing that has gone into the film. And by the way I think India has had an extradition treaty in place with the U.K since 1993, so what was all the brouhaha about an extradition treaty being drafted and the film’s plot using it as a fulcrum?
- The music by Vishal-Shekhar might have sounded good before watching the film and the songs looked good visually as well. But then what’s the point if you cannot get the song placement right in the film?
- Talking about the songs in the film, if you were kept wondering when would the “Bang Bang” song appear and why is the film titled Bang Bang in the first place, then don’t worry as you do get to see the song but at the same time it also is introduced in such a way that it might make you laugh when you understand the significance of the film’s title.
Is there anything good about the film? Well as mentioned before the film could not have had a better lead pair than Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif. They make for solid eye candy and ensure that you manage to stay glued to the screen, once you’ve taken the call to watch the movie. They are also the only reason as to why the film is drawing in the audience, despite the not so good word of mouth. Also the film does look lavishly mounted and does justify the budget partially at least. It is also nice to see veteran actors like Kanwaljit Singh and Dipti Naval in the film, who look dignified as always. However despite all the money that the film will eventually make Bang Bang will remain a missed opportunity, there was a great chance to end up going the extra mile and giving the audience a never before seen experience, something that they chose to stay from and take the “safe” approach instead.
What is the best thing about Bang Bang? Well as my friend Ashwin pointed out after watching the film, it is none other than Ranveer Singh’s ‘Bang Bang Dare’ act which is way better than the film itself. Watch the video in case if you are yet to see it so far 🙂
P.S- I saw no point in discussing the plot of the film, makes sense right?