Rating – 2/5
Starring – Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Divyendu, Yami Gautam and Atul Srivastava
Director – Shree Narayan Singh
What is Batti and what is Gul?
Set in gorgeous locals of Uttarakhand, Batti Gul Meter Chalu revolves around the lives of three best friends, Susheel Kumar aka SK (Shahid Kapoor), Sundar Mohan Tripathi (Divyenndu Sharmaa) and Lalita Nautiyal aka Nauti (Shraddha Kapoor).
The film is based on the subject of electricity and how power is still a major issue in many parts of the country. The first half delves into the complicated love triangle between the three friends. While both the guys are in love with Nauti, she’s still unsure about whom to choose as her life partner. SK is a small time lawyer who earns his living by tricking people for money. Tripathi is the exact opposite and believes in working hard for his income. But when Tripathi sets up his own factory, he starts receiving huge electricity bills despite the power cuts and low usage. As the debts mount up, he is left with no option but to commit suicide. The rest of the story revolves around how SK tackles the issue at hand by changing his own perspective to life.
The first half completely deviates from the main issue of corruption in the electric supply system and focuses on the love triangle. It’s only around the interval that it touches upon the real subject. Until then it’s utterly confusing. Since the movie is set in Uttarakhand, there is excessive use of Kumaoni dialect with words like ‘Thera’, ‘Bal’ and ‘Latta’. The overuse does get annoying.
Towards the second half, things gain some momentum but fail to create an adrenaline rush. Poor editing makes the film a drag. The courtroom scenes attempt some comic angles but end as a mockery of the entire scenario. Throw in some sexist comments and it ruins things further. As the film progresses, you’ll realise that this is the same old wine in a different bottle.
Yet, the film does manage to highlight the deplorable state of affairs in rural India through Shahid’s climax scene where he delivers a stellar monologue. It is the only scene that deserves any attention.
Shahid Kapoor delivers a powerful performance and brings the right amount of playfulness to his character. His energy is infectious and steals focus every time he is on screen.
Shraddha Kapoor’s act starts off by being a little too dramatic but she manages to get into the skin of the character as the film progresses.
Divyenndu is a natural when it comes to comedy but his sincerity is evident even in other emotional scenes. We could have certainly seen more of actors like Supriya Pathak and Farida Jalal.
Yami Gautam as the high-flying opposing advocate does well in her limited role. Atul Srivastava deserves a special mention for his amazing performance.
Supriya Says: Despite its significant performances, Batti Gul Meter Chalu fails to leave a lasting impression. You can certainly give this one a miss.
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