The movie is directed by former movie critic, Karan Anshuman, and produced by Excel Entertainment.
What's it about:
The movie is set in a fictional island nation called Bangistan (don't ask why!), which is divided into two parts. The North Bangistan is inhabited by Muslims, while the South by Hindus. Their chief leaders are friends and want to openly show their solidarity at World Religious Conference (or something like that...), that's being held in Poland. The extremist groups on each side don't like the idea so they convince two gullible youths to bomb the conference. The Muslims hire Hafeez Bin Ali (Riteish Deshmukh), a former BPO employee who leaves his job because Americans call him a terrorist. The Hindus rope in Praveen Chaturvedi (Pulkit Samrat), a Ram Leela enthusiast and follower of 'Maa ki Dal' outfit. Both the prospective suicide bombers change their religions so that the blame of the bombing fall on to the other group. In Poland, these two meet, became building mates and later friends, dance with a hot waitress (Jacqueline Fernandez) on the streets of Krakow, before their original identities dawn upon them, leading to a climax of absurd proportions! All these lead us to ask just one question for the director- how did you convince Farhan Akhtar to loosen his purse and produce this absurdity?
The biggest positive about the film is that it's just around 2 hours, so you only have suffer that much. There were a few clever gags strewn here and there (the terrorist version of MacDonald's with a bearded man with guns as the clown, the 'Bobbit'sky farm and the Riteish line 'yahaan khadi kyun nahi ho rahi, the spoof on TVC ads, the presence of Darth Vader in the religious conference; after all Star Wars is a religion in US!). I also liked the scene when Riteish and Pulkit couldn't explain their own religions, but easily explain the meaning of each other's religion. But such scenes are far and few, and not enough to save the film. And yes, Poland is beautiful!
Karan Anshuman, what have you done? You had a great concept (at least on paper!), a great production team (Excel Entertainment), immense knowledge of films in your head (he was a critic) and an immensely talented Riteish Deshmukh in your cast, yet you managed to botch all that up with really incompetent direction! Pray, tell me what was the genre of the film? Was it a comedy, for there were very little opportunities to laugh with you and more at you? Was it a farce? If so, why did you turn so serious all of a sudden and start giving so much pravachan that we already went through in PK? And if it was a serious film, why did the initial scenes feel like it was directed by Qtiyapa team? Why did you make Riteish the subdued and the serious character, when he could have done wonders if you had let him free? Why make Pulkit Samrat the comic one, when all he could do was ape Salman Khan and act loud (there is a quote about Pulkit that unintentionally caused the audience to ROTFL, when Riteish calls him a 'bad actor')? Why cast the beautiful Jacqueline Fernandez in such a small thankless role? Why does Riteish became a terrorist even when he is against the concept of Muslims being called terrorist? What was that stupid subplot of that bakra all about? Above all, why have you set the story in the fictional land of Bangistan (though the majority of the movie is set in Poland)? Is it because you didn't have the guts to set the movie in India or Pakistan? The saddest part is, there was so much potential...just so much potential...
What to do:
No two ways about it. Bangistan is a huge disappointment, especially since it came from the stable of Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani. As for the director, we recommend you to watch the 2010 British film Four Lions, to understand how to make a farce film on terrorism that entertains as well!
1.5 out of 5
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