Richa Chadda made her debut as a woman of flexible morality, strong survival instincts, and a taste for profanity in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! in 2008. Here she is in Tamanchey, her fifth major release, still swaggering, still swearing and still looking out for herself. Her working-class sexpot image, put in place in her first movie, is exploited to the hilt in Tamanchey. Babu mostly wears fitting singlets thrown over pants, and has the kind of straight-backed posture that leaves no doubt about her physical appeal.

Chaddha plays Babu, a convicted drug dealer who runs into another convict Munna (Nikhil Dwivedi), is intrigued by his non-existent charm, and ends up losing her heart for him after a roll in a bed of tomatoes. Munna adores Babu even though she smokes, drinks and is most definitely not a faint-hearted virgin. He inveigles himself into Babu’s gang, run by Rana (Damandeep Singh Siddhu), in order to rescue his undistressed damsel. But can he persuade Babu to leave Rana, who is also her lover, and fade into the sunset with him?

The question would have mattered had the movie been less disjointed and uninteresting. Navneet Behal has been credited as Tamachey’s “visual director” and producer Survayeer Singh Bhullar as the “creative director”, but neither can generate the quirkiness, honesty or momentum to come up with the ultimate heist – a happy ending. Chaddha and Dwivedi have as much spark as a dead knot of rope. Chaddha vamps it up, displaying a by-now familiar set of tics and expressions (which includes lower lip nibbling). Dwivedi, grossly miscast as a gallant knight, never overcomes his shock at finding himself as the leading man. Bonnie and Clyde they most definitely are not.