Film Review: ‘Baazaar’ tries and fails to rip off Wall Street blockbusters

Saif Ali Khan stars in 'Baazaar.' (Image supplied)
Updated 12 November 2018
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Film Review: ‘Baazaar’ tries and fails to rip off Wall Street blockbusters

  • “Baazaar” has nothing very original to offer and even in the performance arena
  • All in all, Khan is the overwhelming star of the film, outshining insipid attempts by the remaining cast members

CHENNAI: It is widely accepted that Bollywood moviemakers often lift ideas and even storylines from foreign films. Gauravv K. Chawla’s “Baazaar” reminds me of the Will Smith film “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006) and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013), in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays the rogue broker.

But if there is one redeeming feature in “Baazaar,” it is Saif Ali Khan. In his latest adventure on Dalal Street, India’s Wall Street in Mumbai, Khan essays the ruthlessly ambitious Shakun Kothari. Money and profit are all that matters to him as he juggles numbers, cunningly stamping out his opponents. As a top stockbroker, he allows nobody to inch anywhere near him, and he seems to have no competition even from his fellow actors in the film.

Rohan Mehra (son of the late Bollywood actor, Vinod Mehra), who debuts as aspiring stockbroker Rizwan Ahmed does not quite match up to Khan. Ahmed travels from Allahabad to Mumbai with just one dream — to work with Kothari and maybe outshine and outsmart him. Renting out a hole in the wall in a Mumbai slum, he tells his landlord that he will soon own a swanky apartment in one of the city’s tall blocks. “Baazaar” takes us through the nefarious games of the stock market, where friends turn foes without compunction.

“Baazaar” has nothing very original to offer and even in the performance arena, Chitrangada Singh as Kothari’s wife, Mandira, does not delve deep into her character and instead is treated as a mere pretty face — her on-screen emotions do not vary, even when the scene calls for it.

Meanwhile, Radhika Apte’s Priya — a Mata Hari of sorts — works for Kothari and manages to radiate some energy and pluck but is let down by a lifeless script.

All in all, Khan is the overwhelming star of the film, outshining insipid attempts by the remaining cast members.

 


Palestinian student film ‘Ambiance’ honored at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival

Updated 24 May 2019
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Palestinian student film ‘Ambiance’ honored at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival

  • The film is directed by Wisam al-Jafari of Palestine’s Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture
  • It follows the story of two young Palestinians trying to record a music demo inside a noisy refugee camp

DUBAI: Palestinian film “Ambiance” headed into a podium finish at the 22nd Cinéfondation Selection, the Cannes Film Festival’s top film school shorts awards, beating out more than 2,000 submissions.

The film, which is directed by Wisam al-Jafari of Palestine’s Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, landed third place with Polish entry “Duszyczka” by Barbara Rupik.

Praised for its “humor, coolness, and extraordinary use of cinema and sound,” the short film follows the story of two young Palestinians trying to record a music demo inside a noisy refugee camp.

The top prize was handed to “Mano a Mano” by Louise Courvoisier from France, followed by “Hieu” by Richard Van from the US.

The award was presented on Thursday by a jury headed by French director Claire Denis. Cash grants of up to $16,760 were given to the winners.

Aimed at supporting new and emerging talent in filmmaking, the Cinéfondation Selection chooses fifteen to twenty short and medium-length films each year from film schools all around the world.