Banjo review: Riteish Deshmukh stars in a wannabe musical with the wrong notes
Imagine a night when writer Ravi Jadhav was watching a lot of Hindi movies with incredible plots, great performances and remarkable writing. He must have wanted to write something similar, and had all the inspiration, but didn't know how to.
Banjo is the story of a failure, I'm not talking about the plot of the movie. It's a story of the writer's failure in a putting a good film together.
Banjo, starring Riteish Deshmukh and Nargis Fakhri, is a wannabe 'musical' which has gotten all of its notes wrong. The entire story follows Riteish's character, who is a banjo player in a band. The band is worried about their chances of playing for Ganesh Chaturthi and Navrathri, given they don't play a mainstream instrument. But, they are the best Banjo band in their neighborhood.
The entire movie is set in Mumbai, and the drama begins when Christina, a character played by a pair of lips (also known as Nargis Fakhri) arrives. She is a musician and comes to Mumbai in search of Riteish's Banjo band whose audio she had listened to while in New York.
She roams around looking for them for a large part of the first half of the film. Don't worry though, the movie does feature all those cliched scenes of a naive NRI wearing tight revealing clothes roaming around in the slums of Mumbai, while the slum dwellers stare at her with their mouths wide open.
She finds them and obviously Riteish Deshmukh's character falls in love with her.
Christina wants to join the band and then shoot two songs with them to submit in a New York music festival. They start by playing at clubs in Mumbai.Cue more cliches: there's also parts where clubs don't allow them inside and treat them badly, because they are street artists but obviously all this rejection gives them ammunition to do more and rise from the ashes.
The concept of street stars becoming mainstream superstars stems heavily from the Step Up series. It has also been adapted and done to death in Bollywood. This film is nothing different.
Banjo does have a few catchy songs to which you can groove, but some parts of the plot are cliched and the others are too random. Don't be surprised if you switch your brain cells off in the first 30 minutes.
Had the movie concentrated more on the life of the character played by Riteish, and the musical instrument, there would have been more scope for an interesting movie. But the writer fails completely on that account by adding random layers of conflict, clashes and romance.
If you're going to watch Banjo, make sure that you do not buy a recliner seat, because you'll be signing up for a sleeping fest.