Bandobast - Movie Review

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 19:45
Bandobast (2019)

Bandobast', directed by KV Anand, hit the screens today (Friday). Let's find out what works and what doesn't.


Ravi Kishore (Suriya) is introduced as an organic farmer who is on a secret mission.  He bombards a train in the initial scenes and we don't know what he is up to next.  

Somewhere in Delhi, Chandrakanth Varma (Mohanlal as India's Prime Minister) is dreaming of making India corruption-free. In comes Ravi Kishore as Varma's SPG officer, guarding him all the time. Varma's life is in danger from Pakistan-backed terrorists. He even survives an assassination bid one or two times!

The big point arrives when the enemies succeed in their evil mission.  It's now up to Ravi Kishore to save the country from falling into the hands of the enemies. It's also important for him to know who are those enemies. Abhishek (Arya) is Varma's son. Mahadev (Boman Irani) has a key role as India's No. 1 industrialist.


We have seen movies that treat corporate crimes in a careless manner. We have seen movies that treat political sagas in a ridiculous fashion. 'Bandobast' does the impossible by combining these two and leaves the audience dumber than the dumbest.

Writer-director KV Anand weaves unimaginably difficult situations around his hero, who solves complex things single-handedly. When he is around, even the country's Prime Minister has to look like an uneducated joker.  When he fails in the basic duty of protecting the PM, the director makes him look like a gentleman by introducing an NIA officer who forgets to zip up his pants! This NIA officer is investigating the biggest case in India's history, for your kind information.  

After 'Maharshi' and 'Kadaikutty Singham' (Karthi's 'Chinna Babu'), our filmmakers have this fetish to showcase male leads as farmers. 'Bandobast' too does it. Actually, it goes many miles ahead. Suriya becomes an unofficial Agriculture Minister while taking care of the PM's security! If the PM has any doubts, he consults the hero because only he knows about farming, botany, zoology, biology, Pakistan, America, stars, solar system, vodka, poetry, politics, Pawan Kalyan and everything else under the Sun.

Arya's character is reduced to a joke of sorts. As the son of the PM, he jokes around with Ambassadors and VVIP guests! Why blame him when even Suriya's character suggests to the PM that he resorts to masturbation as an unmarried guy?! (Not making this up. Such is the film's level).

The film is an over-cooked broth at so many levels. Boman Irani's character is a dead giveaway, leaving nothing to imagination. His conversations with most powerful people are so strangely ridiculous that they are stuck in a time warp.

Terrorism, bio-war, displacement of farmers, massive illegal mining, so on and so forth are infused without a thorough story built around them.

There is a track between Suriya and Sayyeshaa Saigal and it may or may not be a romantic one. Nobody can be sure what goes between them. The songs come and go but it wouldn't have made any difference even if they went on and on endlessly.

The performances are a mixed bag. If Suriya and Mohanlal are brilliant, Samuthirakani, Arya and others don't work. Harris Jayaraj's background music may not impress everyone; it is unsettling. MS Prabhu's cinematography is top-notch.  

Bottomline: For a film that is entitled 'Bandobast', it is a big irony that the country's most important person has no adequate security (bandobast). Loose ends, silly situations, lousy research, pathetic tropes, confusing screenplay - everything is there in the movie.

Reviewed by: 
Vishwanath V