Surprise, surprise, surprise! Sometimes, the expectations from a movie are zilch, but what unfolds on screen is beyond expectations. It surprises you, to put it simply. On face-value, Bolo Raam looks like it's straight out of 1970s cinema. A movie with predictability written all over it. A movie that carries zero hype and matches it with zero content. But Bolo Raam isn't archaic, isn't the usual masala, isn't zero content.
A remake of the Tamil film RAAM [2005; starring Jeeva, Saranya, Rehman, Murali], Bolo Raam has an interesting plot with an engaging screenplay that compels you to look at the screen for most parts of the movie. But, of course, there're hiccups. A few non-actors and a done to death climax could've been avoided.
Raam [Rishi Bhutani] is charged with the murder of his mother Archana [Padmini Kolhapure]. Raam falls into a state of shock, brief psychotic disorder, after his mother's death and becomes silent, refusing to talk or react in any manner.
The investigating officer, Indrajeet Singh Rathi [Om Puri] is puzzled and unable to make Raam speak. He consults a psychiatrist, Dr. Negi [Naseeruddin Shah], to determine the cause of Raam's state of mind and the reason for his silence.
Rathi interrogates various personalities for the case, questioning Raam. Every possible motive that Raam might have for murdering his mother is explored. Furthermore, Raam's neighbours, Sub-Inspector Sajid Khan's [Govind Namdev] daughter Juhi [Disha Pandey] and son Sameer [Krishan Khatra], are summoned by Rathi for interrogation. Will his silence solve the puzzle?
Without wasting any time, Bolo Raam takes off from its opening titles itself. The story goes back and forth, several new characters are introduced, but the narrative stays faithful to the main plot. The best is reserved for the second half. Layer after layer is peeled with expertise. The viewer is keen to know the identity of the killer and that's when the film fumbles and tumbles.
The culprit's track is sloppy and a major put off. In fact, the circumstances that lead to the murder are quite amateurish and look far from convincing. Surely, the writer could've thought of a better culmination. Also, the one-sided love affair is functional.
Debutante director Rakesh Chaturvedi 'Om' makes a confident debut, although he should've cast some better actors for key roles. There's not much scope for music [Sachin Gupta] in the film and hence, just one song merits mention - 'Maa Tere Jaisa'. The background score [Sanjay Chowdhury] deserves special mention.
Newcomer Rishi Bhutani does a commendable job. He oozes confidence, despite sharing the same frame with accomplished actors. Om Puri gets into the skin of his character and is impressive, while Padmini Kolhapure is a pleasure to watch after a long gap. She is beautifully restrained. Naseeruddin Shah has a brief role and the veteran does it well. Govind Namdev is very good.
Rajpal Yadav is wasted. Both Disha Pandey and Krishan Khatra are non-actors. Manoj Pahwa does his usual act.
On the whole, Bolo Raam has decent merits [hence those 2 stars], but the problem is its wrong release timing. It won't stand a chance in front of a hurricane called 3 Idiots.