Opening this week

‘Babumoshai Bandookbaz’ film review: Bullets and betrayals between the sheets in an uneven thriller

Kushan Nandy’s film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as a hitman who gets squeezed between his lover and numerous rivals.

Dubey is a kinky man. The politician (Anil George) gets his kicks out of the pain and pleasure of others, which is evident in the sequence in which he hires a masseur to massage his wife and invites the man to undress her if he so wishes.

Dubey will later hire hitmen to erase his collaborators and rivals, but he is only one among several men and women who have erased the line between good sense and good taste a long time ago. If there is an honourable man among the rogues in Kushan Nandy’s Babumoshai Bandookbaz, it is Babu (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). A cool-headed gun for hire who works for ruthless politician Sumitra (Divya Dutta) and her minions, Babu’s life is transformed forever after he loses his heart to Phulwa (Bidita Bag).

Babu’s sex life perks up admirably with the arrival of Phulwa, a textbook small-town hussy guaranteed to divest men of their inhibitions. But his professional life collapses due to competing interests involving Dubey, Sumitra, the police officials on their payroll and rival hitman Banke (Jatin Goswami). Banke idolises Babu, or so he claims, and becomes an ally or a competitor, depending on which way the script decides to blow.

Babumoshai Bandookbaz (2017).

The lust for flesh mixed with the lust for power result in a healthy dose of between-the-sheets activity – here is one corner of India that will score highly in a sex survey. Nawazuddin Siddiqui relishes his role as a giant on the field and the bedroom, and Bidita Bag delivers on her key result areas – to chase and be chased.

The movie has many deftly written and directed scenes and enough cruelty to keep it ticking along, but its momentum slips ever so often and its moral concern barely peeps through. There is always far too much going on in this patch of Uttar Pradesh badland for Babu to emerge as the last hero standing. Ghalib Asad Bhopali’s crackling dialogue is a constant in the thicket of twists, which result in several false endings.

The absence of morality, police corruption, bloodied contest for political power, swagger and women who behave like men are now familiar enough to be classified as cliche. Babumoshai Bandookbaz takes some cues from Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), but it tries to forge its own mythology. The nihilism is dialled down – these crimes have serious consequences – and is in inverse proportion to the perversity.

Nandy parades an admirable bunch of venal characters, all of whom are perfectly played by the cast. Anil George’s menace is matched by Divya Dutta’s heartlessness. Although Bhagwan Tiwari has played the tainted man in khaki before, he is effective here as the corrupt police officer who keeps impregnating his wife in the hope that some day, she will deliver a daughter instead of a son.

The only role women have in this world is to be bedded or killed – Sumitra suffers a particularly gruesome end – so perhaps this is the one time when the girl child’s entry into the world will not be celebrated.

Like most cautionary tales about crime, Babumoshai Bandookbaz too struggles to create empathy for its amoral lot. Babu is the only character with a modicum of psychological shading, but he loses his way at the exact moment and spot when Phulwa’s sari slips to reveal her cleavage. Like Babu, the movie too struggles to move beyond that life-transforming moment.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Can a colour encourage creativity and innovation?

The story behind the universally favoured colour - blue.

It was sought after by many artists. It was searched for in the skies and deep oceans. It was the colour blue. Found rarely as a pigment in nature, it was once more precious than gold. It was only after the discovery of a semi-precious rock, lapis lazuli, that Egyptians could extract this rare pigment.

For centuries, lapis lazuli was the only source of Ultramarine, a colour whose name translated to ‘beyond the sea’. The challenges associated with importing the stone made it exclusive to the Egyptian kingdom. The colour became commonly available only after the invention of a synthetic alternative known as ‘French Ultramarine’.

It’s no surprise that this rare colour that inspired artists in the 1900s, is still regarded as the as the colour of innovation in the 21st century. The story of discovery and creation of blue symbolizes attaining the unattainable.

It took scientists decades of trying to create the elusive ‘Blue Rose’. And the fascination with blue didn’t end there. When Sir John Herschel, the famous scientist and astronomer, tried to create copies of his notes; he discovered ‘Cyanotype’ or ‘Blueprints’, an invention that revolutionized architecture. The story of how a rugged, indigo fabric called ‘Denim’ became the choice for workmen in newly formed America and then a fashion sensation, is known to all. In each of these instances of breakthrough and innovation, the colour blue has had a significant influence.

In 2009, the University of British Columbia, conducted tests with 600 participants to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue. While the red groups did better on recall and attention to detail, blue groups did better on tests requiring invention and imagination. The study proved that the colour blue boosts our ability to think creatively; reaffirming the notion that blue is the colour of innovation.

When we talk about innovation and exclusivity, the brand that takes us by surprise is NEXA. Since its inception, the brand has left no stone unturned to create exclusive experiences for its audience. In the search for a colour that represents its spirit of innovation and communicates its determination to constantly evolve, NEXA created its own signature blue: NEXA Blue. The creation of a signature color was an endeavor to bring something exclusive and innovative to NEXA customers. This is the story of the creation, inspiration and passion behind NEXA:


To know more about NEXA, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.