Halfway through Bank Chor I wondered how they hired actors there. In the sense they cast the much-loved son of an ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister, in a film where head of the same state is shown to be massively corrupt and manipulative. Further, it is notable how this film plays around religions, vaastu etc in its under-cooked screenplay.
To take a convenient pun, Bumpy’s Bank Chor is clearly a bumpy ride on both writing and direction fronts. As for the former, I felt someone snatched a copy of a spiral bound script and highlighted loose ends and contrivances with a yellow marker and threw it on unassuming audience. Marketed as a full-fledged comedy film amidst a failing bank robbery, Bank Chor surprises – by just not being one. Now that’s a liability to the film as a property because its leading men are proven comic actors. It does attempt aimlessly to appear funny, only succeeding in the latter half – thanks to terrific supporting duo (Vikram Thapa and Bhuvan Arora. Their NCR vs Maharashtra tête-à-tête with an annoyed Champak (Riteish Deshmukh) makes for the Bank Chor‘s paisa vasool moments.
Coming to the film’s crux, it is about three novice thieves and their middling stint at robbing (AHEM!) a South Bombay bank that amasses illegal wealth. Cheekily named ‘Bank of Indians’, this private sector institution holds accounts of several VIPs – be it amoral politician or the hilarious Baba Sehgal . The bank and its bizarre functioning is indeed questionable, which is a different story altogether. Armed with guns minus too many bullets, confidence and strategy is what our robber trio lack in – which is clearly better than Bumpy’s execution skills, I must add. The film is quick to turn tides and twists happen at junctures that even your 7-year old nephew wouldn’t bet on. After a near-lacklustre first half, Bank Chor attempts to salvage things in the latter half. It does, to a great extent by keeping us on tenterhooks with all cinematic liberties taken. You see no bullets fired, no major casualties and a sloppy Messiah act from nowhere. What is relieving is the fact that the film gets over its extreme tomfoolery and makes way to a not-so-boring attempt at the comic-heist genre, only to run out of steam once the pre-climactic twist is revealed. Covering up the Jupiter-sized loopholes with a superfast narrative (with umpteen turbulent plot points to think over) is not really a method.
Besides stereotypical characterization and the tiring, sharp Indian cop look, it is Vivek Oberoi who stands out as toughie CBI cop Amjad Khan. No, this isn’t a role where you expect him to go all out emoting. We tend to question how he handles live media or even basic abilities to differentiate between live spoken speech and a playback recording. Having said that, Oberoi is a fantastic crowd pleaser. With Amjad Khan’s smouldering 70mm demeanour, Oberoi part doesn’t suffer Dhoom‘s ‘Jai Syndrome’. Talking about Dhoom, the film derives obvious inspiration from the popular YRF franchise. Just that the film’s collective intents do not tie together and make a coherent stand.
Riteish Deshmukh is surprisingly shoddy. More so because he doesn’t get much scope in his forte – comedy. Now who would want Deshmukh to go all sentimental or do a Mr. Smartypants act? Rhea Chakraborty has a refreshing Genelia D’Souza-esque presence and that’s about it. Amen to whoever designed her journalist wardrobe, complete with plunging necklines, leather minis and heels. Sahil Vaid who impressed recently in Badrinath Ki Dulhania looks surprisingly over-rehearsed in Bank Chor. Not that he isn’t good at all. Just that the expressions and reactions feel so acting school trained. Or how we see in an average city play by struggling actors.
As I rightfully complain on how Bank Chor isn’t what it pretends to be, fact remains that the film is a semi-decent entertainer. Overlooking certain bits that aren’t problematic in larger scheme of things, Bumpy’s Bank Chor is an average popcorn flick that you wouldn’t mind sitting through but would forget the moment it ends. Produced by Yash Raj Films’ youth wing,Y-Films, what it lacks is a necessary dash of freshness – something their web series projects brim with. Never mind!
Rating: ★★ 1/2
Author at Filmy Sasi