Actor turned debutante director Parmeet Sethi made a startling confession on my show, a few days ago. He said, he had completed the entire script, with dialogue, in six days flat. I was apprehensive initially, but not once does Badmaash Company give you the feeling that it's a hurried job or the debutante writer-director, in a bid to start his first film, had left blanks incomplete.
The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. The adage holds true for the youth of today, who wish to attain the riches overnight and take an easy route/shortcut to climb the ladder of success. Just when you start thinking that you've conquered it all, that you're God, a stroke of bad luck brings you back to Ground Zero, to experience the harsh realities of life.
Parmeet walks the tight rope of handling a complex subject and offering entertainment simultaneously, in his very first film. To his credit, the film has several poignant and enjoyable moments that catch you by complete surprise. While the film has it all - the writing has the power to keep the viewer hooked - the film has a handicap in the form of its second hour, especially the penultimate 25-odd minutes.
Let me specify! With a running time of approx. 2.30 hours, the extra footage in the end - Shahid and friends trying to salvage his uncle's business - only adds to the length of the enterprise. Ideally, the film should've ended when the friends forgive each other and shake hands, after a series of personal and professional setbacks.
Final word? Badmaash Company is a decent attempt, with several captivating moments and power-packed performances by each and every member of its cast. We often grudge that entertainment-laden films make no sense these days, but this one entertains and also makes sense. Watch it!
Badmaash Company is set in the 1990s in middle class Mumbai, of four ordinary youngsters (Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang and Vir Das), who came together to start an import business of things longed for by yuppie Indians. What made their venture such a stupendous success was the fact that they found a way to beat the system and soon became the undisputed kings in their business, realizing their one dream of making quick money is by doing all the wrong things the right way.
Living the life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, the four friends discover that to make a business successful, you don't need big money. All you need is a big idea. All is well and hunky dory till one day the four maverick entrepreneurs are forced to shut shop.
The best thing about Badmaash Company is that you identify with the mindset of those who aspire to reach the pinnacle of success using shortcuts. The scams and the con games the youth indulge in are easy to decipher and least complicated, which works in its favour. Another strong point is the camaraderie that the four actors share on screen. The film would've fallen flat if the chemistry was missing, but the bonding looks so real that you forget that they are merely enacting those roles.
Badmaash Company has some terrific moments. The sequences in Bangkok are enjoyable. Ditto for the showdown between the friends in the post-interval hour. The transformation in Shahid's persona is also beautifully depicted. But, like I pointed out at the outset, the second hour tends to get repetitive and the penultimate 25-odd minutes are a strict no-no.
Pritam's music is foot-tapping and almost every song has been filmed very well. Sanjay Kapoor's cinematography is just right.
Every actor puts his best foot forward in Badmaash Company. Shahid gets it right yet again. It wouldn't be erroneous to say that this is amongst his finest works. Watch him blow his lid in the restaurant sequence and also in another sequence, when he meets a pregnant Anushka. He is confidence personified in those sequences.
Anushka is a revelation. She looks stunning, her performance is livewire and the chemistry with Shahid is electrifying. Strangely, she took a backseat after her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, but Badmaash Company will bring her back in public eye. Vir Das is another surprise. He's in terrific form here. The film marks the 'birth' of another talent - Meiyang Chang - who adds a lot of freshness and zing to his character. Anupam Kher is wonderful. Kiran Juneja makes her presence felt. Pawan Malhotra is extremely likeable.
On the whole, Badmaash Company is a watchable experience for various reasons, the prime reason being it offers solid entertainment, but doesn't insult your intelligence. Recommended!
Director - Parmeet Sethi
Cast - Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang, Vir Das