Bholaa is about exhaustive, excessive mayhem

Ajay Devgn plays an ex-convict and father in Bholaa. Photo: Universal Communications

In this era when people relish unlimited action, even along with some violence (the line between the two is thin yet distinct), Bholaa might strike a chord with the audience. It is one long ride (joyride for those who thrive on and adore stunts and gravity-defying action on bikes, trucks, and on-ground) of exhaustive mayhem that becomes excessive too, especially as there are only basic sequences that are emotionally laden seen amidst the arsenal of turbulence and turmoil to show that there is a story.

The thin storyline, however, is thankfully distinct. Bholaa (Ajay Devgn) is in jail for life, but is released after 10 years for good behavior. In jail, he has realized that his now-deceased wife (Amala Paul) had been pregnant and had delivered a girl, who is now living in a seedy orphanage. Free now, his one aim is to meet his daughter (Hirva Trivedi) and take her away.

Two other things are happening almost simultaneously. IPS office Diana (Tabu) has just captured drugs worth untold crore and has stashed the booty in an old jail with secret tunnels. A senior police officer (Kiran Kumar) has retired and is having a farewell party and Diana is present too. The enraged drug mafia wants to kill all the cops and has mixed poison in their drinks with the aid of a corrupt officer (Lokesh Mittal). The cops all fall unconscious. Diana, who has not partaken of the drink as she is under medication for a bullet wound in the drug raid, remains unaffected but must save the lives of the cops by taking them to hospital.


The only way out is by transporting them in a truck that no one can drive. Except Bholaa! Diana emotionally blackmails him into driving the vehicle. As Bholaa reluctantly agrees, he also takes along the caterer, Kadchi (Amir Khan) to guide them through the dark, jungle-infested terrain.

Meanwhile, a livid Ashwathama (Deepak Dobriyal), the manic drug baron, decides to storm the jail, both to get back the drugs and also release his elder brother Nithari (Vineet Kumar), who has been arrested and incarcerated in the same jail. Working in cahoots with the disdainful ex-cop Devraj (Gajraj Rao), he unleashes myriad men to storm the truck, whose whereabouts are known because the corrupt officer is sending the gang its locations while pretending to be unconscious like them.

At the jail, the few cops flee, knowing what is going to come, except a new senior recruit (Sanjay Mishra) and some youngsters who have been detained for petty causes. As the odds close in, Bholaa, in the truck with Diana and Kadchi, becomes a weapon of mass destruction.

A multiple-barrel machine-gun, a trident (Bholaa is the name given to Lord Shiva), knives, hammers, cleavers—everything is used as exterminating weapons to the (Discordant) tune of deafening and overdone background music. The orgasms of violence come up with intermittent persistence, as Bholaa becomes Rudra (the name, incidentally, of Ajay’s web series, and again synonymous with his second directorial, Shivaay: the actor has repeatedly shown his devotion to Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of Evil in the Hindu trinity). A significant chunk of the action also takes place in a Shiva temple in the middle of nowhere, in the dead of night.

The happy ending is compulsory, as with all such superhero films (and Bholaa is indeed one, as he fights hundreds alone, with or without weapons!), but in the end, we see a new villain coming in and announcing that he will take on Bholaa, now united with his daughter, in a “To be Continued” saga next time!

Ajay Devgn’s character, thanks majorly to his eyes as well, is the epitome of simmering, silent anger and yet we barely come to know anything about his background, especially why and how he landed in jail. Maybe they will show the back-story in the sequel, which will be obviously be made as soon as the investment on this movie is recovered!

As a filmmaker, Ajay spares no effort or expense as he mounts the film in 3D and IMAX, and lets himself go at technical wizardry, backed by his affinity for technology and his VFX firm, NY DI VFXWaala, and a chain of stunt supervisors and directors from India and abroad. He conceives the breathless sequences with incredible skill, and emerges as a master at action, much more than in Shivaay and Runway 34, his last ventures.

Deepak Dobriyal plays a coke-consuming manic with fair skill, though he tends to go over-the-top. Vineet Kumar, in a briefer role, is quite menacing, but poor Gajraj Rao is wasted. Tabu is now becoming an expert at playing cops with a past. Sanjay Mishra is extremely restrained as the police constable in a role different from his comic image.

The technical side is, as said before, impressive, though some of the key dialogues (the film plays to the gallery in this aspect as well, though there was scope for improvement in the one-liners) were not clear in the 3D-IMAX location wherein I watched the film. The songs fail to make a mark, unlike those of South-based composers in Pushpa, RRR and Drishyam 2. This film is also a South remake with significant changes, and it remains to be seen how (much) it will be accepted by the audiences that are not too kind to remakes anymore, Ajay’s story-rich Drishyam 2 again being the sole exception in the last two years.

Personally too, I would have liked more of story and less of action here, but then Ajay had to make a mark as a director, and this is his most commercial venture in that ‘direction’.

Rating: *** (Just About)

Ajay Devgn FFilms, T-Series Films, Reliance Entertainment & Dream Warrior Pictures present Bholaa  Produced by: Ajay Devgn, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, S. R. Prakashbabu, S. R. Prabhu & Reliance Entertainment  Directed by: Ajay Devgn Written by: Lokesh Kanagaraj, Aamil Keeyan Khan, Ankush Singh, Sandeep Kewlani & Shriidhar Dubey Music: Ravi Basrur Starring: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Amala Paul (Sp. App.), Deepak Dobriyal, Vineet Kumar, Kiran Kumar, Amir Khan, Sanjay Mishra, Gajraj Rao, Makarand Deshpande, Yuri Suri, Ketan Karande, Shriidhar Dubey, Jahangir Khan, Arpit Ranka, Amit Pandey, Lokesh Mittal, Hirva Trivedi, Raai Laxmi & others Sp. App. : Amala Paul, Abhishek Bachchan



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