A film about maverick musicians from the Mumbai ghettos has the potential to inspire you, but Banjo left me exhausted. It’s one of those films where you rush to the snack counter during its interval for some candy or chips so you can get through the second half. Banjo, led by Riteish Deshmukh and Nargis Fakhri, seems to be grappling with an identity crisis.
Deshmukh, plays Tarat, who can single-handedly fight off brutish men with his fist and extort money from them. He’s also a modern-day superhero because he can save young boys who fall down a giant hole filled with dirty water. If that doesn’t earn him brownie points as a good-natured guy, then we are told he’s also a creative genius when it comes to the banjo, the musical instrument that’s often forgotten.
Banjo begins with a colourful blast with the Ganpati song, that gives the intro of the heroes. From thereon, the graph of the film goes up and down. Some scenes are good, some are plain average. Some jokes work, some fall super flat. The plot is nothing to crow about. There are two songs, Peepa and Udanchoo, that come in quick succession, tax your patience. And yet, Banjo does manage to keep you entertained. All thanks to the performances of the cast.
Dharmesh Yelande, Aditya Sharma are good. Nargis Fakhri is decent, though one can still see the discomfort she has in emoting while speaking Hindi. The use of Marathi actors add to the authenticity to the milieu. Certain characters could have been avoided, like Kris’s friend’s irritating uncle.