Tamannaah Bhatia plays the lead in Babli Bouncer. Read on to find out if the Madur Bhandarkar film lives up to everyone’s expectations.
The films of Madhur Bhandarkar are known for scratching beneath the surface. Following Fashion, Page 3, and Heroine, the filmmaker established a precedent with his honest and reflective cinema.
On the other hand, Babli Bouncer is a significant departure from that. Bhandarkar makes his first attempt at a lighthearted film in a long time with the Disney+ Hotstar original film. He tried something similar before with Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji. Is he able to recreate the same magic with Babli Bouncer?
Babli Bouncer is a film about a young girl named Babli (Tamannaah Bhatia) who is born with physical strength. She can eat 12 parathas and drink glasses of lassi without blinking. She confirms every stereotype of a ‘desi’ girl from a village in the Hindi heartland.
Check for a Haryanvi accent! Check for English difficulties! Check, burps in public! Babli relocates to Delhi after landing a job as a bouncer at a local pub. Although her ambitions are not her own, she quickly discovers a purpose in life that does not end with marriage or having children. The plot is pretty straightforward, with no significant twists or turns.
Babli Bouncer appears to be the result of sloppy writing. The plot is predictable from the start. It’s challenging to grasp Bhandarkar’s motivations for his vision for Babli.
On the surface, it appears to be a story about a female bouncer in the capital city, but the bubble quickly bursts. Babli’s character is poorly written, with no significant arcs. The film makes a poor attempt to give it a strong female voice by relying on a man and Babli’s desire for him. When it finally attempts to convey a message, it comes across as forced and caricaturist. This is a huge letdown for a filmmaker who has shown the reality of showbiz.
It would have been interesting to see their journey and plight in a film about female bouncers. But Bhandarkar provides an unnecessary love triangle that adds little to the story. The filmmaker appears to have succumbed to a ‘formula’ with Babli Bouncer.
The story loses its essence to remain lighthearted and ‘woke.’ Although Tamannaah Bhatia and the supporting cast do their best to elevate the mediocre script with their acting abilities, it isn’t enough to entice you to invest in their story.
Tamannaah is a hoot. She plays Babli with the innocence that comes naturally to her. Although it takes some time to warm up to Tamannaah as Babli at first, she comes into her own about 15 minutes into the film. The dialogues provide much-needed punch at times, leaving us laughing. However, the film’s overall gender politics are inconsistent. The film’s music also doesn’t add much to the overall experience.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this is Bhandarkar’s weakest offering in a decade.