CAST & CREW
Exploiting the criminal politician nexus in Uttar Pradesh has now become the familiar hunting ground for film makers in Bollywood of all hues and shape. Of late, however, Timanshu Dhulia seems to have hogged the show with a string of films including the Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster series. Bullet Raja is the latest on his pet theme, but with certain variations. In this film, he has also slipped in the theme of a friendship duo, reminiscent in many ways of the Jai-Veeru duo.
Plot: The story of “Bullet Raja” starts with Raja Mishra, the main protagonist in the film, portrayed by Saif Ali Khan. Chased by goons, the commoner Raja is seen mingling with a marriage party, and soon strikes a friendship with Rudra Tripathi, the bride’s cousin, played by Jimmy Shergill. In the dangerous hinterlands of UP, commoner Raja soon gets exposed to impending violence when he overhears of a plan by Rudra’s uncle’s rivals to eliminate his entire family and grab his lands for poppy farming. Acting on this Raja and Rudra stave off a ferocious gang of the area – the Lallan gang ( Chunky Pandey as the gang leader) hired by the rival landlord.
Their success, however, sucks them into becoming the musclemen of local politicians. Typical of the ingenuous tricks employed, Rudra’s uncle (portrayed by Sharat Saxena), who is himself a gang leader, advises the duo to get into jail to avoid retribution from the Lallan gang. While they follow his advice, Rudra’s uncle himself is killed by Lallan’s gang at the behest of the poppy seed land owner. The incident pushes the duo of Raja and Rudra full scale into the world of kidnapping, extortions and killings at the behest of corrupt, manipulative politicians. They team up with Ram Babu Shukla, a politician of this latest creed, portrayed by Raj Babbar, to wreak revenge on the killers of Rudra’s uncle.
Gaining growing prominence through their daring deeds, the duo eases out other existing hitmen, to carry out more such daring acts while at the same time increasing their own enemies in the killing fields of UP. To add variety to the events, a love angle is also introduced with Raja falling in love with Mitali, (portrayed by Sonakshi Sinha), who is an aspiring actress. There is a mix of good and bad tidings as the film ends, with Raja losing his devoted companion Rudra, killed by one of the rival hitmen, but joining up with Mitali, his love, to commence a fresh innings in life. As the male protagonist, Saif fits into the role like he only can with perfect mastery over the typical lingo and mannerisms of rural Western UP, and significant about his role and that of Jimmy Shergill as his constant comrade in arms, are the exemplary bonding that they display.
As the female protagonist, Sonakshi Sinha gets a slightly imbalanced role in the overall context does justice besides looking fetching in her role of an upcoming actress. The film also boasts of a bevy of accomplished actors like Raj Babbar, Gulshan Grover and Chunkey Pandey all of whom add to the overall ease of flow of the film. What embellishes “Bullet Raja” besides Timanshu’s known knack on a subject of this type are the punch in the screenplay and dialogues (co-authored by Tiamnshu himself) and the fast-paced editing of Rahul Shrivastav. However, like most fast paced thrillers of this type, the introduction of songs come as necessary road blocks and lose whatever impact they would have otherwise had.
Verdict: For those who liked Dhulia’s previous films, this would not disappoint though the pattern of incidents and the context may look slightly different. For lovers of action thrillers, in general, this is a film worth viewing.
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