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Cast: Aadar Jain, Anya Singh, Sachin Pilgaonkar
Director: Habib Faisal
Producers: Aditya Chopra
Writers: Habib Faisal
What's Yay: Performances, Concept
What's Nay: 'Righteous' treatment given to the second half, Music
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Iconic Moment: None
Said to be inspired by true life incidents, Qaidi Band begins with the introduction of Machang Lalung, a tribal from Central Assam who spent 54 years in prison without trial.
The film then shifts to undertrails- Sanju (Aadar Jain) and Bindu (Anya Singh) who continue to rot behind the bars because they ain't richie-rich to support their court proceedings or appoint a top-notch lawyer to fight their case. Soon, these two are handpicked by their jail warden Devendra Dhulia (Sachin Pilgaonkar) along with five other undertrail prisoners, to perform in the presence of a hot-shot politician on the Independence Day programme in the jail. With time, friendship blossoms between these seven undertrial inmates who name their band, the 'Sailanis'.
Their Independence Day performance receives a roaring response and goes viral on the web due to extensive media coverage. The 'Sailanis' become an overnight sensation but 'freedom' is still beyond their reach. Further, Dhulia and the politician have some ulterior motives to keep them 'caged'. While the 'Sainanis' ever be able to break free from this 'qaid'?
In one of his interviews, Habib Faisal had revealed that the idea for this film occurred to him when he read about a band in Tihar jail. He was quite unsure about the direction of his story until he came across the sad plight of undertrails in India.
Qaidi Band has taken birth from a nobel thought. The film highlights a social issue (plight of undertrails) who often have to return back dejected after knocking the doors of justice. While the first half of the film has some engaging moments, things go for a full toss post interval when 'unrealism' starts creeping in the narrative and too much spoon-feeding of noble thoughts make you lose interest in the plot.
One simply can't miss the uncanny resemblance of Aadar Jain to his cousin-actor Ranbir Kapoor though his voice might remind you more of Randhir Kapoor. He puts up a sincere act and looks confident on camera but has a long way to go.
Anya Singh makes a promising debut and even outshines Aadar in some scenes.
Sachin Pilgaonkar is effective as the 'selfish' warden. The rest of the cast too puts up a good show.
Anay Goswamy's cinematography is average but one wished that the production design had looked a little more authentic. The editing works in the favour of the film.
Barring 'I Am India' which plays several times during the course of the movie, none of the other tracks make a mark despite the film being a musical.
Qaidi Band hits the right notes when it comes to making confident debuts and taking up a socially relevant topic. But sadly, it loses its voice mid-way and fails to arouse any patriotic or rebellious sentiments.