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.

 


Makkah all set for its first flower festival

Sea of flowers at Muzdalifah district in Makkah. (AN Photo by Abdulmohsen Doman)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Makkah all set for its first flower festival

  • A symposium on environmental planning, and the design of green spaces such as parks, gardens and squares will also be held
  • The flower festival continues until March 23

MAKKAH: A carpet of flowers featuring 1 million blooms will be one of the main attractions as Makkah hosts its first flower festival.

The event, which begins on Tuesday at Muzdalifah, has been organized by the city’s municipality in cooperation with the Arab Urban Development Institute and King Saud University. It will be officially opened by Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.

Raed Samarqandi, the director of the municipality’s department of media and publications, said that the festival is unique and has serious objectives.

“It aims to improve the environment, fight pollution and show an image that suits the value of the city and its holy sites,” he explained. “The festival will coincide with the 20th symposium on afforestation, titled “Suitable afforestation for the environmental conditions of Makkah — the central region and holy sites,” on March 19 and 20.

The symposium will feature representatives of governmental sectors and scientific bodies and include discussion of papers addressing many the issues in the city, such as the state of afforestation in Makkah, the latest techniques in environmental planning, and the design of green spaces such as parks, gardens and squares.

Makkah Mayor Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Quwaihes has invited speakers from the private sector, universities, research centers, and agricultural and afforestation companies to contribute and help raise awareness of these local issues.

The flower festival continues until March 23.