Babli Bouncer has a lot of potential to explore a topic that has never been seen on screen, but it doesn't provide anything new.
Last Updated: 04.18 AM, Sep 23, 2022
The movie follows Babli Bouncer, a unique story of a female bouncer (Tamannaah Bhatia). It examines the numerous dimensions of the typically male-dominated field.
Madhur Bhandarkar created his fan base by making socially relevant films that won accolades at the national level. The filmmaker gained nationwide recognition with his films, namely Chandni Bar (2001), Page 3 (2005), Corporate (2006), Traffic Signal (2007), Fashion (2008), Heroine (2012), and more. Bhandarkar always chooses a topical film, mostly based on a strong female character. Thus, with Babli Bouncer, it's given that the leading character will be seen as a physically strong person. Here, Tamannaah Bhatia, in the titular role, delivers the same message, and that's about it!
Unlike most of his films, Bhandarkar takes a comical route to narrate a story that's definitely not new. As the world has evolved, he decided to make a film in which the woman decides to stand on her own feet after getting rejected and insulted by a "city" guy for being a "silly village" girl. That has never been the purpose before, so making it one this time didn't make sense at all.
The first half gets all stretched up, seeing how Babli (Tamannaah), with a lot of lies, finally lands a job as a female bouncer at a club in Delhi. Well, she gets a job purely based on her talent and physique, but she has set her eyes only on the guy she likes.
The biggest drawback of the film lies then and there, when a guy enters and changes her life upside down. It doesn't have any connection with the narrative, which could have been more focused on the ups and downs of a female bouncer's life.
We see a few glimpses in between where Tamannaah beats someone to a pulp and a cop keeps on repeating how Delhi is unsafe for girls at night. However, the only aspect shown here is that of a lonely girl on the streets of Delhi.
The bouncer part, on which the film is technically based, is absent in most cases. It's placed only for moments wherein she emerges as a winner and not as a challenging job, which it seems to be.
Babli Bouncer is touted to be in the comedy genre, but there are hardly any funny moments that will stay for long. The actors in the film try so hard to be funny that there is no proper landing and you may end up with a poker face throughout.
This is not the first time Bhandarkar has attempted a comedy genre. The filmmaker has done it before with Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (2011), in which he did a good job of portraying men's perceptions of having their hearts broken.
But here, in times when realistic films are needed which can be told in a lighter way, Babli Bouncer fails to hit the mark. The script was written by Amit Joshi, Aradhana Debnath, and Bhandarkar, but the three writers were unable to create the magic that the film had potential.
There has been discussion and documentaries made on Asola Fatepur, which is called the "Village of Bouncers". But it's only slightly narrated at the start of the film by Vijay Raaz.
As for performances, Tamannaah Bhatia tries hard to fit the bill as a bouncer, which she passes well and has her moments. And definitely, the actor has it in her to headline a film well. But maybe what she expected from the story doesn't work in her favour. The actor shows her physical strength near to perfection, but when it comes to emotional scenes, it doesn't bring out the best in her.
Saurabh Shukla as a supporting father to Tamannaah's character is at his usual best and something we have seen before from an actor of his calibre.
Sahil Vaid impresses everyone in the film with his charm and with the little he had to offer to the film. I have to say! Similar to Abhishek Bajaj, who plays a Delhi guy named Viraj, Babli falls for him. His role doesn't help much in the story's progress, but the actor delivers what he has been asked for.
As he does in every film, Bhandarkar brings back his favourite, Mukesh Tyagi!
Babli Bouncer starts on a note that the guy from that village will be going out to do the job of the bouncer and the girls will have to get married eventually. But, given that the film is based on an unrequited love story, changing the narrative to make an independent woman succeed in the city doesn't help the film at all.
Babli Bouncer had a lot of potential to take up a subject which has not been seen on the screen before. However, in the name of comedy, the film takes up the romantic angle, which defeats the whole purpose of the film by creating the same old concept.