t’s Saif Ali Khan’s Gordon Gekko-esque character that is the strength of Bazaar. Saif does amoral characters especially well, and he turns Shakun Kothari into an utterly compelling cold-hearted villain.Wall Street, with its “Greed is good” punchline, was a timely cautionary tale about the repercussions of limitless greed and ambition. Bazaar, although it makes the same point, does it in far too generic sort of way. It’s far from unwatchable; it just doesn’t demand that it be watched right away.
We might as well blame it on Martin Scorsese. Baazaar, directed by Gauravv K Chawla, is the kind of insipid film that will require someone to take responsibility, and we may call this the fault of the master who made The Wolf Of Wall Street. It’s not that this film copies that alarmingly dynamic one, but rather that this director is so obviously seduced by visions of great films about the stock market, that he rushes — eagerly and without preparation — onto the filmmaking floor to try and join the legends. There are many problems with the mediocre Baazaar, but the primary issue is intent, because it appears Chawla didn’t truly attempt to tell a story. He’s a director who tried Wolf.
Baazaar shuns subtlety for cheesy drama and engineered confrontation. Everybody spews gyaan to someone who then quotes the same gyaan back to them and the cycle goes on and on. When not speaking the language of big Bollywood drama, there's tons of finance jargon tossed in to establish its milieu. The dirty politics of stock trade might not hold everyone's interest but Baazaar's focal point is how much compromise is exempt from moral scrutiny. Often characters -- none of which are women, who are purely eye candy -- break the fourth wall to communicate the nitty-gritties of their professional world or pull out some jerky editing techniques to offer nothing of value. Save for Saif. His character has a thing for stories and tells them like riddles with deviousness stroked in affability. He is evil in its most hypnotic, powerful, persuasive, expressive and exonerated avatar -- now where have you heard of this kind before?
Baazaar, which is anchored by a rock-solid pivotal performance from Saif Ali Khan, gallops at a fair clip, but it still feels a tad starchy owing to its predictable storyline. Its propensity to resort to clichés in delineating an unabashedly greedy, unscrupulous wealth creator who rides roughshod over his allies and rivals alike prevents it from offering little by way of striking novelty, especially for those who haven't yet forgotten Oliver Stone's Michael Douglas-Charlie Sheen drama Wall Street, released more than three decades ago. Baazaar is at best passable. It could have yielded higher dividends had it been less slavishly derivative.
Baazaar turns to a song montage ever so often to rush through the change in relationship status. There are many earworms including one by Yo Yo Honey Singh. Equally intolerable are the laughable product placements. Apte as the glamorous colleague and amorous motivator Rizwan needs and relies on is often sidelined for the two men. Bazaar, starring Saif Ali Khan and Rohan Mehra, is a drama that fails to shine due to its sketchy screenplay, says our review.
It’s difficult to not be cynical about the intentions of a film that thrives on stock broking, reducing the mighty Radhika Apte to mandatory eye-candy, and random screens flashing colourful share prices. Most fascinating is Saif Ali Khan’s Raees-meets-Rohit-from-Kal-Ho-Naa-Ho performance. His Hindi is typically Nawab-ish and, well, normal, and it’s only his English that is forcibly tinged with an accent more unnatural than Anushka Sharma’s in Jab Harry Met Sejal. Sentences are sprinkled with the odd ‘dhandho’ (business) and ‘ghanto’ (not “bell”), while he sips on whiskey and struts around with the air of a vegetarian Wolf of Dalal Street. He prides himself on profits and facts, and always being right about random metaphors. We might have even been spared an EDM anthem called “Maja Ma”. The Gujarati in me is too tired to be offended.